The First Decision to Make
Lets Get Started
Before you get started, designate someone to lead for the day. The leader is responsible for reading any text or instructions (or assigning people to read).
How Much is Enough?
Most of us have probably considered the question, “How much can I spend?” at some point. For some, the answer might be kind of fuzzy. We just go with the flow and hope things sort of work out along the way.
For many, the answer starts with another question, “How much do I earn?”. We take a careful look at the money we bring in and make sure our spending is less than our income. This strategy is not bad, and is the standard advice of most personal finance experts. However, while we certainly are interested in worldly wisdom, we are even more eager for godly wisdom.
Rather than starting with “How much do I earn?”, let’s start with a different question: “Out of the wealth God has given me to manage, how much do I need for myself and my family?”.
Once we’ve reframed the question in this manner, we can respond in two ways. On one hand is those who say:
There is no limit to the amount I need for myself. As my income increases, my needs or savings goals will always increase proportionately.
On the other hand is those who respond with:
There is a point at which I could say “I have what I need”. There is a point at which I would have enough and wouldn’t require anything else.
This branching point is one of the first major decisions as we frame how we think about money. In order to move on, each of us will eventually need to come to the conclusion that a limit exists – that enough exists. Don’t worry about how much enough is just yet. We’ll get there. But for now, we’re content knowing that a finish line is out there somewhere.
Thinking of ourselves as managers of God’s wealth, we can think of this finish line as our “operational cost”. If God is entrusting us with His wealth, then our operational cost is the amount we take out to cover our own costs, like a managing fee. All the remaining money is what we actually use to invest in His kingdom by serving our neighbors, building up our communities, and helping bring the gospel to all nations.
Let’s take a minute to discuss everything so far:
Discuss as a group. Have you ever considered the question “How much is enough?”
Discuss as a group. Do you find the idea of a finite finish line intimidating? Why or why not?
To some, the idea of a limit, or finish line, for our spending sounds like a significant sacrifice. This might be the first time we have ever considered the idea at all. However, those that are already living with a finish line have found that rather than experiencing lack and discontentment, this sort of decision instead comes with a newfound peace and satisfaction that was otherwise not attainable. Let’s take a look at a couple examples.
That's All for Now
If your group is covering additional modules today, you can move on to the next module now. If you are finished for the day, take a few minutes to pray as a group.