Variables are factors subject to change based on the situation. Somewhere around middle school, students learn about variables in pre-algebra. Many of us can recall solving for X using mathematical formulas. Remember? First, you isolate the variable to one side and bring all the remaining values to the other side by applying arithmetic operations on both sides of the equation. Then, simplify the values and solve for X. Don’t you wish solving for X in life was as simple as an algebraic formula? I mean, life is filled with variables – things we have no control over. Everything from the weather to the way others react to a situation. But, there is one variable we can control – ourselves. In fact, in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he writes in chapter 5 starting in verse 22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” It appears that self-control is an attribute that followers of Jesus should demonstrate in their lives. If you are looking for ways to put this into practice in your finances, here are three variables you can control today.
3 Financial Variables You Can Control
- Debt – Proverbs 22:7 (NASB) says, “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” It’s time to stop buying things we cannot afford. If I can be so bold, having enough money to make the monthly payment is not the same as buying it. Monthly payments, even with a zero percent loan, are still debt. As Dave Ramsey so eloquently put it, “Act your wage!”
- Savings – Proverbs 21:20 (The Voice) says, “The wise have a generous supply of fine food and oil in their homes, but fools are wasteful, consuming every last drop.” Emergencies happen, even to Christians. Cars break down, people get sick, water heaters go out, injuries are a part of life, etc. Not only that, you may want to go on vacation, buy a home, or retire. Stop thinking that someone else should take care of your wants and needs. Be wise, stop consuming every last drop (or more) and save.
- Generosity – Proverbs 11:24-25 (The Voice) says, “One shares liberally and yet gains even more, while another hoards more than is right and still has need. A giving person will receive much in return, and someone who gives water will also receive the water he needs.” This one makes little logical sense and is problematic mathematically. However, that does not change the truth. The Bible teaches us that generosity is part of our new DNA as followers of Christ. 1John 3:16-18 (The Voice) says, “We know what true love looks like because of Jesus. He gave His life for us, and He calls us to give our lives for our brothers and sisters. If a person owns the kinds of things we need to make it in the world but refuses to share with those in need, is it even possible that God’s love lives in him? My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.” That is powerful! Being generous is a variable we can and should control. A practical way to put that into practice is by supporting your local church. To find out how to donate to Sunridge, click here.
Every day more and more variables present themselves causing us to see that the only thing we can control is ourselves. Allow the fruit of the Spirit to guide you and take control of your finances before you can no longer solve for X.