Sacrifice to Grow
More on knowing…and doing.
As I’ve said, in my life God has given me knowledge (wisdom & understanding) after I was obedient in doing. Some of these things I would believe were good before I did them. But in others, I didn’t really see the value in changing the way I lived. Regardless, in all cases, as I submitted myself in obedience to this new way of living, I gained a real understanding that each of these things added up to a better way of life. God understands how He made us. He gives us these guidelines because He knows what will make us most happy and prosperous.
James explained it this way:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25
This is not the way to get more love or acceptance from God. He loves us unconditionally and more than we can imagine. His acceptance of our shortfallings comes through Christ and nothing we can do will make that better. So we can gain nothing in His eyes, but if we want more for ourselves, there is a way…
What I’m suggesting is not the easiest or most immediately gratifying path. But if we want to grow closer to God, we need to be open to finding those areas of our life in which we are not being obedient to His word and sacrifice our desires or fears of the moment and have faith that He has a better way for us. He will make it clear what areas those are for you when you desire more of Him. In doing this, we come to know God in a real way and find more peace, joy and even freedom than we knew was possible before.
The same is true in the financial arena. There are a preponderance of talking heads out there espousing a variety of financial truths. They feel wise because they’ve spent more time thinking about these things than others and therefore are quite confident to tell you what you should be doing financially. I was one of them. The problem is that most of the prevalent financial theory out there doesn’t work in real life. Through doing, if you pay attention, you can begin to understand something more than what is possible through rote, book knowledge. After years of the traditional advice falling short of expectation, we began to apply other methods.
More in the days to come. So stay tuned. And tell others to tune in, as well.