Now comes the possible controversy.
Last week I asked you to look at your bank statement. Did you do it? Seriously go look.
I was talking with my mother the other day about budgets. Both of us work with them. We have budgets to manage and work with. It’s just a part of our jobs.
We talked about how our budgets show our priorities. We talked about how some people may disagree but that it’s simple a fact.
The conversation reminded me a sermon Sarah’s steph-father gave years ago where he claimed that we should look at our budgets as moral documents.
This reminded me of a conversation I was having with Sarah’s step-mom about economics and the idea of revealed preference. If asked people about their preference that are likely to give the answer they think they are supposed to. They’ll lie. Would I rather apples or chips? Apples. But their spending reveals their preference. They buy chips. Don’t ask them what they prefer just look at the money.
So if we bring the ideas together that budgets are actually moral documents that share your priorities and preferences, what did yours say when you looked at it? Are you living a life of compassion?
Mine says I have a lot of work to do.
If you came to me today and said “Phil I have this great work that God is doing and we some consistent support” or “would you consider sponsoring a child?” or “I know this amazing charity doing really impactful community work, would you consider donating?” I’d probably say I can’t afford it.
That’s not really true. I do have the money. I just choose to spend it on my satellite so I can watch NCAA March Madness basketball.
It’s not true because I choose to give myself discretionary spending every month so I can buy coffee or go out for dinner with friends.
It’s not true because I choose to save for my future and not invest in someone else’s.
None of those things are bad. None of them are wrong at all.
But I do have the money. I just prioritize TV, dinner out and my retirement more than good work, sponsoring a child or a new charity.
My purpose is not to make you feel bad here but to make sure your honest with the choices your making. If you’re picking TV over a charity and that makes you feel bad then maybe God is saying your budget needs some more compassion in it. Maybe God is saying you need to look at it again with His eyes.
Next time there’s an opportunity to give be honest. Do you really not have the money or is that just an excuse you use to avoid the priorities your money is truly showing. Is it that you honestly wish you could or you can’t stomach the fact that you just don’t want to more than you want a cell phone with data?
If you want to live a life of compassion then God needs a say in your budget and space for His love to be displayed. Maybe it’s finally worth that look at your bank statement I’ve been asking you to do.