Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 7.17.13 – Financial Sacrifice – Know Your Needs

Scripture says “My God shall supply all my needs. . .” (Philippians 4:19).

Last week I gave an introduction to the concept of financial sacrifice.

This week, I want to offer a specific challenge: know your needs and sacrifice to meet them.

I would define needs as these:

Housing, ability to work (transportation), food (and basic household items), medical care, and clothing. Insurance would be included on housing and car. Some sort of a phone is also a must for most. I’d add the need to give to any believer’s budget. One might argue the fringes of these (like how much saving is really necessary), but most would agree these are basic to all. Once you have determined your basic needs, budget to meet them.

Some questions to ask in budgeting:

  • Do I need a car, or can I ride a bus or bike? Can I walk, even at inconvenience to myself?
  • If I am taking a loan, what strain will that put on my budget? Could I endure the laughs of riding my bike, walking, or driving a less expensive car while saving cash to pay for a car that won’t put me in a financial hole?
  • Am I willing to drive a less expensive car so I can have enough money to maintain it?
  • Can I maintain a house or a car? Am I willing to put the money away to insure and maintain things I own? Am I willing to drive a car for a lot of years in order to save having a car payment?
  • What type of medical care is needed? What’s available? What is best for my family?
  • What types of foods are healthy and can inexpensively feed me and/or my family? Where can I go to save money on food and household items?
  • Is any government help available? Although I am opposed to reliance on government, some programs are beneficial for families in between jobs or those struggling to make ends meet.

Some challenges:

  • Do you know the difference between a want and a need?
  • If you cannot maintain a house or car, it makes no sense to own one.
  • Work to get as much as you can, even if the government will give you the same benefits for not working. It’s more satisfying and God honoring.
  • Can you save money on your grocery budget by simplifying? How much is wasted at convenience stores?
  • Do you know how much a month it takes to provide for your needs, including saving to maintain things like cars and houses? If not, determine your needs, add some savings, and start from there.
  • Are you willing to stop by a thrift store to see if any decent used clothing can save you money in other areas?

The bottom line is this: If you plan to spend for what you want before being able to regularly pay bills for your needs, you will guarantee a good amount of frustration and difficulty. God may not supply all our wants, but He does supply our needs and we can honor Him by working and sacrificing to make sure the basics in our lives are stable.

Next time, I’ll say something about wants.

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