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Balanced Finance by Andy Stanley Pt. 5: Managing Your Expenses

In , we learned about our extra money and what we do with it.  Many may have thought that they didn’t have much extra, but we learned contrary. Now onto Part 5!

A Question About Trouble

What gets us into the most financial trouble?  Many answers may go through your head, but Andy points out that the actual answer is discontentment. When you see many of the commercials on TV, or see the new gadget your friend has, our natural reaction tends to be discontentment.

What is discontentment?  Andy Stanley says that the definition is “your dissatisfaction with what you have.”  I think that everyone experiences discontentment at some point in our lives.  In fact, contentment is openly ridiculed in today’s business world as lazy and lacking motivation.  If you are content, then you have given up.

This isn’t the case, but people want you to believe it is.  If you buy into that ideology, then you’ll continue running on that hamster wheel.  But to better understand discontentment, you have to understand the cause.

What Causes Discontentment

There are many things that you might be thinking:

  • TV Commercials
  • Radio Ads
  • Product Demonstrations
  • Sales People
  • Friends
  • Family

And the list goes on.  At the end of a typical day, I would be surprised if you didn’t have someone telling you about something you “need” to buy, or something you “should” check out.  But ultimately, what lay at the center of each of these examples is awareness. Your awareness is what brings the discontentment.  Andy points this out with a series of examples.

Awareness fuels discontentment.”

– Andy Stanley

As soon as you become aware of something that you think is bigger, better, thinner, stronger, sleeker, faster, and any other adjective, you become discontent!

What you were perfectly happy with before, is no longer good enough.  Why?  Because you became aware of what you didn’t have.”

– Andy Stanley

The Television Example

After describing discontentment and awareness Andy wheeled out a television and explains how old and archaic it is.  He shows a side profile of this enormous (in a bad way?) television, and begins talking about the standard set of ridicule it would go through.

Before, when we would go shopping for a TV, we were concerned with the front side of a TV, but now we’re concerned with the side of a TV, and how deep it is.”
– Andy Stanley

Our view of TVs can be scaled to all other areas of consumer purchases like clothes, computers, phones, and anything else we can blow money on.  Computers are another thing that have completely affected the way we do things.  Who hasn’t upgraded their computer before?

Now, we upgrade everything.  Andy points out a very interesting thing in this quote:

In the old days, people replaced things. We don’t use that word any more.  You replaced something when it broke, you replaced something when it wore out, you replaced something when you lost it. Nowadays, we don’t replace things, we upgrade them.”

– Andy Stanley

Another thing we don’t do is borrow things.  When we mention needing to buy something, and someone says “Oh, you can borrow mine.” We get a bit agitated.  We get agitated because we had a reason to buy our own, but this person is ruining it.  We have a childish demeanor that we want to own it, rather than borrow it, even if we’ll only use it once.

Are You Hungry for Spending Money?

Andy Stanley refers to discontentment numerous times as an appetite.  He mentions that it, like all appetites, can never be satisfied forever.  When you eat food, you’re satisfied for a while, but you will eventually become hungry again.  He makes an important statement that basically says “No matter what you buy, your appetite will return, and you will be discontent.”

The more you feed an appetite, the larger it will get.”

– Andy Stanley

Today’s culture tells us to feed the appetite.  It feels good to feed the appetite, and when we run out of money to feed the appetite, we can simply use a credit card to continue.

For The Love of Money…

Andy points out that when we fell in love with our husbands, wives, boyfriends, or girlfriends, we did crazy things.  People have driven long distances, and made huge public displays.  Some people have made huge mistakes in the name of love, and many people would call them dumb mistakes.

When you love money, you make dumb mistakes.  When you put something above the ones you love, then you are elevating that item to a higher place.  So, while people may say that they don’t love money, they really do.  When you participate in ponzi schemes, get rich quick schemes, and any other thing that jeopardizes your family and finances to get more stuff, you are loving money.

Related Scriptures and Closing

There’s so much more in the videos that I’m unable to cover here, but I highly urge you to watch them.  They are completely free, and completely worth it.  I can’t possibly cover all of the awesome topics and quotes in these articles, but I try to highlight the best and more important parts.  Definitely give the videos a view!

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Final Charge to Timothy

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

– 1 Timothy 6: 6-11

18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

– 1 Timothy 6:18-19

Back to the Balanced by Andy Stanley series.

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