It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else. Ecclesiastes 6:9 (TEV)
An important facet of managing our finances is managing our desires. Regardless of whether our income is average or above average, there is no amount of income we can’t outspend if we don’t manage our desires. A friend of mine, who was simple in his outlook yet satisfied in life told me, “There are two ways to be rich – have lots of money or be satisfied without a lot of stuff!” He was indeed happy by the second method and happier by far than most.
In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul writes to this church and thanks them for their generosity in giving to other Christians in desperate circumstances. He reminds them that God has promised to supply their every need, and he teaches them that he has learned to be content whether he has much or little. Charles Stanley (a famous preacher) said, “I never have a lot extra, but I always have enough, and isn’t enough enough?!?”
Both the Apostle Paul and Dr. Stanley have learned the lesson we all should take to heart – the things of this world won’t satisfy our souls. We are wired for something more, something lasting, something of greater value, something eternal. Paul said in another letter, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
If we begin by managing our wants, we will find it easier to manage the basics of our finances – living within our income, tithing, being generous toward others, and saving for the future. By following these principles the Bible teaches that we will also find ourselves less stressed and more happy.