I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Devotions Whom Do I Serve with my Time and Resources

Read: Matthew 6:19-24

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. –Matthew 6:21 (KJV)

Work! Work! Work! We strive to earn an extra dollar or to pay for that new car (when the other one might hold up for a few more years), for a new, larger, house (when, with some creative planning, the present one would serve), for that vacation (when did vacations become a “right” or a “need” rather than a “want?”) All those hours, all those wish lists end up with bottomless debt.

There are all sorts of rationalizations for spending long hours working, reasons for leaving children in the care of a nanny or in other child care–adding to the expenses that need to be paid. All in the pursuit of some nebulous “dream.”

Some work simply to pay bills, living paycheck to paycheck. Many have no idea what their income or expenses even are. Yet, often expenses–such as expensive cars, eating out, etc.– are not necessary and could be cut to meet income.

If we were satisfied with fewer and less expensive clothes, shoes, gifts, travel and entertainment, less expensive housing and transportation, we could manage on far less income. If we cut back our lifestyles, we’d have more time for our family. Maybe then, we’d also have more time for God.

In our busy schedules, how often do we stop, relax, take time to ask for God’s direction before charging ahead with our own plans, expecting God to fall-in with and bless our plans?

He won’t. He doesn’t bless when we’re more concerned with career or volunteer work that siphons time away from family (however noble). He doesn’t bless when we’re more interested in buying “things,” than in investing time and effort in people, especially with our own families. (Do I really need to go shopping–again?)

Such pursuits are self-centered, not God or other centered, and does not help our witness or further God’s kingdom. They also further shred our relationships with spouse, kids, family and friends.

How often do I warm a pew a Sunday, feeling smug that I never miss church with my family, while ignoring my family and their needs the rest of the week?

Maybe it is time to prune my lifestyle, commit to a budget, and make sure I give my best, not just leftovers to those closest to me.

Help me, Lord, to begin putting You first in my life and my home. Help me listen to You, reading your Word, not only alone, but also with my family. Help me get my spending habits under control and make sure to have my priorities in order. Amen.

Monday: Matthew 6:33; Ephesians 4:24-32
Tuesday: Philippians 2:3-13
Wednesday: Titus 2:1-8
Thursday: I Peter 3:5-9
Friday: Psalm 63
Saturday: Romans 12

(C) 2016, 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies

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