If you’ve ever known someone who has finished a marathon you might have an idea of what extreme discipline looks like. Marathon runners consistently train with high levels of intentional planning and diligence. They begin a training regimen months ahead of a race or event, and they have to stick to the plan to finish the race well.
A few years ago my wife and I ran a half marathon. When we signed up for the event we had a plan to train very consistently and diligently, but along the way my wife got sick. While she wasn’t feeling well we fell off the training regimen and never fully got back on it. Needless to say, race day was painful. We did manage to finish, but not nearly as well as we might have had we persevered through the training. It wasn’t that we finished slow. It was we finished extremely sore.
There are many areas of life that we have to develop discipline for in order to finish well as God calls us to. Hebrews 12:1-11 teaches us to overcome everything that hinders us and to run with perseverance the race set out before us. One of the many challenges of life we have to learn to persevere is managing finances.
Overcoming challenges in our finances is much easier when we train with discipline to manage money according to God’s instructions. Our future performance in the race of life depends on how disciplined we are today. Here are a couple of things we can all do to be more disciplined in how we manage money:
Have a budget, and stick to it. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” This is a simple instruction to have a plan (aka budget). Simply spend less than you make and include giving and saving in the plan. The trick to budgeting is not the math. It’s the discipline.
Give, save, and spend wisely. We all know we’re called to be generous and I believe most of us truly have the desire to be, but so often we fall short in saving and spending wisely and create a cycle of scarcity that hinders our generosity. We can never stress enough the importance of saving and spending wisely. Keep this verse in mind as you practice the daily discipline of saving and spending wisely. Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but falls gulp theirs down.” We can’t continue to consume everything we have and not save for whatever God’s future plans for us may hold.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” When it comes to finances that righteousness and peace comes in the form of generosity and contentment that are developed over time as we are daily disciplined in our management of money.
How are you doing staying disciplined and sticking to a monthly plan for your finances?