Americans used to be good savers (10% of personal income went into savings) and now have become terrible savers (0% or even less, which means that people are actually burning up their savings for daily expenses). People who save none of their income probably are suffering from “I Must Have It Now” syndrome.
Waiting for things cheerfully is learned behavior. People who didn’t learn it as children can cause some real wreckage as adults.
God tends to ration out his... Read More
You know, in all honesty we’d have to admit that in our prayers we probably do a lot of asking for more things. What we don’t do enough of is ask for wisdom and strength to take better care of the things we already have. We’re all custodians and managers of God’s generosity, and let’s face it, it’s easy to take our possessions, our jobs, and our families for granted and to neglect them as we dream about an upgrade.... Read More
As you get older, you will probably notice more and more how God sends help to you through other people—their words of encouragement, their critiques, their gifts. Did it ever occur to you that you might be the answer to someone else’s prayers?
God loves it when you share your toys. He loves it because you are helping someone he loves, and he loves it because it shows that you are willing to invest in his big agenda instead of... Read More
My late father-in-law is my hero for a number of reasons. I remember him especially for his self-control. He used to sigh about wanting a boat. After his children were grown, people would urge him to get the boat he’d been dreaming of. “No,” he’d say. “Why not?” “Because then I’d just want something else.” For him, the boat was the edge where he knew he needed to stop in order to live within his means.
Way too many people... Read More
Some people hate shopping and venture out only to purchase what is absolutely necessary. Other people are almost addicted to the rush they get when they spend money. You know the drill: “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.” What is it about spending money on ourselves that is so compulsive?
Well, we’re all materialistic to some degree. If getting stuff makes me happy, then getting a lot more stuff will make me a lot happier, right? If... Read More
A great many people are terrified that sometime soon the earth will run out of petroleum deposits. In that view, fossil fuels are a zero-sum game—there is a strict, finite limit on how much oil exists underground, and when that oil is all pumped out, our cars will all wheeze to a halt.
That fear is behind the push for renewable resources, that is, drawing energy from theoretically infinite sources such as the sun, wind, and falling water. More and... Read More
Do you love paying taxes? I didn’t think so. Tax time is no fun for me either. I put it off as long as I can. I dread the tedious chore of filling out all the ever-changing forms. I dread not having had enough wages withheld and finding out that there will be no refund because I owe a lot more. I dread getting the official IRS letter informing me that my paperwork had mistakes and that I owe still... Read More
The way the IRS works, you can earn quite a bit of money before your income becomes taxable. All those below a certain level are excused from having to fund governmental services—they can ride for free.
God doesn’t manage his world that way. One of the most shocking stories in the New Testament is the story of the widow’s mite. A woman gave a contribution of several cents to her God at the temple. Jesus saw her do it and... Read More