Breathing Room Part 3 - Money
On Sunday 19th January 2014 at our morning services, we looked at the third part of our four week series called "Breathing Room". The title of this third talk was "Money".
In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
The talk was given by Chris Porter - our Senior Minister, and you can listen to it online by clicking here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here
In this series, we are defining breathing room as the space between our current pace and our limits. When it comes to money we can not only live up to our limits, we can live beyond them too using debt.
In this talk we said that we don't want anything from you - this is not a talk about giving money to the church. But we did say that we want something for you...and that is breathing room in your finances and freedom from financial worries and debt.
There is a big difference between standard of living and quality of life. We have bought into the lie that our standard of living equals our quality of life. But this is simply not true. It is possible to have a very high standard of living and to have got that through debt and living without financial breathing room, and therefore to be utterly miserable and constantly worried about money.
We know this to be true and yet we still get into financial difficulties, why is that? Well often times because we are jealous of other people, or we are afraid that others will judge us or because somehow we think it is our right to have all the stuff we want.
We raise our standard of living with debt, but we raise our quality of life with discipline...and we prefer debt to discipline.
God is much more concerned with our quality of life than our standard of living, because he love us.
Creating breathing room with your finances may lower your standard of living, but it will raise your quality of life.
God talks more about money than almost any other subject. And the Bible is full of wisdom about money. If you aren't a Christian, this wisdom is just good advice, but if you are a Christian then living with financial breathing room is a command of God.
Jesus said "you cannot serve both God and money". (Luke chapter 16). You cannot be a slave to money and still serve God effectively. Having no breathing room with your finances makes you a slave to money.
How do we gain financial breathing room? How do we get the discipline to raise our quality of life?
We suggest five steps:
Decide - discipline begins with a decision
Set a breathing room goal
Spy on your money - know where it is all going
Cut spending - look at your mobile phone contract, your energy bills, broadband, phone etc. ask do I really need this
Get out of debt - remember I want is better than I owe
We teach all of this on a course we run called CAP Money - which is a fantastic 3 week course that helps us manage our money and create financial breathing room. For more details please contact Kat Morling through the church office on 01344 487744
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Breathing room in your finances leads to improved quality of life. Remember creating breathing room financially may lower your standard of living, but it will raise your quality of life.
Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
Talk about one of the happiest times in your life. What were your finances like during that period?
Think about how you managed your money last year. What would you like to do differently this year?
How well do you document your expenses so that you know where your money is going? What
influenced you to document your expenses the way you do?
In the talk Chris said, “You can raise your standard of living with debt, but you can only raise your quality of life with discipline.” How accurately does that statement align with what you’ve eperienced?
What is one challenge you would face in developing a lifestyle reduction plan?
What is one thing you can do this week to begin to create breathing room in your finances? What can this group do to support you?
Money doesn’t raise your quality of life, financial breathing room does. In fact, you may need a lower standard of living in order to improve your quality of life. You can’t obey the teachings of Jesus without financial breathing room because he said not to worry and you’ll worry a lot if you have no financial margin. Don’t let your finances be your master.