Money, New Years Resolutions, and God

For some people, ringing in the new year includes more than singing “Auld Lang Syne”, having a toast, and kissing someone they love. Plenty of people across America will make New Year’s resolutions. There are plenty of New Year’s superstitions that Americans will participate in too. All across the southern states, Americans will eat black eye peas and collard greens with a side of gold cornbread. The black eye peas or Hoppin’ Johns, which represent prosperity because they swell when you cook them and we want our finances to swell. The collard greens represent folding money, greenbacks, benjis, cheddar, dead presidents, the paper, the loot, the bread, moolah, which are all slang terms for cold hard cash. The cornbread represents gold bars and riches. Some other New Years’ superstitions surrounding money include wearing green underwear, placing cash in their wallets, or eating something that forms a circle, like a donut. The usual suspects when it comes to New Years Resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more, and save money are the top resolutions made every year. Yet, most people stop going to the gym in February, most people do not lose weight, and most are in the same financial shape at the end of the New Year as they were at the beginning or they are worse off. Why? Habits. Habits never change and therefore behavior never changes. Habits die hard. Studies show that it takes 21 days to change a habit or develop a habit. Changing our diets, exercise routine, and money management routines that have been ingrained into our lives for so long take such a huge concerted effort that we do not have the sustained energy for over the long haul. We do not have the endurance for it. It is cold outside this time of year, so who wants to be out walking or out running? Matter of fact, who wants to run anyway? So, we go to the gym. The gym is overwhelming though, there are so many machines and weights and people and sweat, and mirrors and treadmills, and things we have no clue what they are or what they do. You just stand there and look and become discouraged. Diets are extremely hard to stick to. You can’t have Little Debbie’s Oatmeal crème Pies on any diet I have found. You must count calories, watch what you eat, and change what goes into your body. So, when it comes to money, we struggle in the same ways. Struggling to make changes to our financial situation is just as difficult as our dietary and exercise struggles. Actually, money habits may be the most difficult to overcome. We have dealt with money, or the lack of it, for so long, that the ways or plans we use are not really helping us. We are just kicking the can down the road. So how do we change the habits we have when it comes to money? The first place we need to look is at the foundation from which we base our money principles. We learn most of our money habits from our parents. Whether they talk to us about finances or not, we learn from them. We listen to all sorts of people’s financial advice, read financial gurus books, go to conferences, listen to podcasts, and search. A quick Google search will reveal thousands of financial coaching books, websites, Youtube links, and you name it. Before you know it, boom, you’ve dropped a hundred dollars on some scheme to get your finances under control. However, you probably already have the best book on financial counseling that money can buy collecting dust somewhere in your home, the Bible. God’s Word has plenty to say in it about money, saving, budgeting, stewardship, giving, debt, and is free on most electronic devices! So let us look over the next six weeks and see what God has to say about handling money His way.

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