Message Monday: Financial Plans Without Budgets are like Sundays Without Sermons

church without sermon

Would you attend a service without a sermon? 

You arrive and find a seat.

The music begins to play and there is some singing.

The Friendship Notebook (like an attendance record) is passed down the row and then you give of your tithes and offerings.

All this is done with prayers sprinkled in-between but the pastor never takes the stage.

Many believe sermons are boring and just a part of attending church, that the message is one of control and shame for not behaving as well as we could have. Would you mind if sermons were cut out of the bulletin altogether?

It's the same for budgets

You show up for work everyday and produce a widget.

Your family gets to play and you have friends over for dinner once in a while.

All this is done without tracking what we spend or deciding how much we can actually save.

Most people believe budgets are boring and that they are too restrictive. Maybe they would be ashamed for not behaving as well with their income as they could have (I know I've had many of those moments). Would you miss it if you never did another budget again?

Budgets identify problems and opportunities

You lose the opportunity to see how much you can save without tracking purchases and seeing how far your money can go before it runs out. You can't fix something that isn't a problem, and doing a budget exposes the problems. It is also the best way to reveal opportunities. How much could you save by cutting here and then putting more over there?

What if you noticed that your “eating out” category was way out of whack? Would you want to know about that so you could adjust trips to the golden arches in order to save for your children's college? What if the amount for car payments was as large as your mortgage? Wouldn't you want to know about that before you decided to remodel the kitchen with credit cards?

It's the same for sermons

Sermons help identify problems and opportunities too. As we learn more and more about the Bible and what God wants us to do (or to be) we make adjustments in our lives. You can't fix something that you don't know is a problem, and a sermon is a great way to learn about our emotional challenges and human limitations.

Sermons are also the best way to reveal opportunities. How much could you cut out of your old behaviors that could then be applied to serving, giving, and spending time with your Creator instead of Honey Boo Boo?

Financial and Spiritual planning

My wife and I working on financial goals. Each month we create a budget for the upcoming month so we can make positive changes in our financial situation over the long haul.

The same applies to sermons. Listening to the pastor's message allows me to review where I am today and begin to make positive changes leading me towards my spiritual goals.

You might ask what my spiritual goals are? I'm glad you asked. I'm still trying to figure that out. But I know that applying what I learn from the sermon gets me closer to it every Sunday and farther away from a place I didn't want to go.

Experiencing the benefits

Just as a sermon on Sunday can help your focus in your spiritual walk, a financial plan with a spending plan adjusts the focus on your goals.

You won't think they are boring once you realize how much you benefit from it. Personally, I look forward to it! Experiencing change while sitting in a pew and seeing how much we were able to shovel into savings are both energizing!

I wouldn't want to miss the sermon on Sunday, so I appreciate the work my pastor does every Sunday to create a message I can understand. I don't want to look back on my life with regret, so I appreciate spending the time every month creating a spending plan.

Experiencing the benefits of a good message and flexing our financial muscles is powerful, enlightening, and good for storing up treasures (Matthew [6:20])!

What was your favorite sermon or message you've ever heard? Please leave a message of your own in the comments below.

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1 Comment

  • drfalter

    Reply Reply January 21, 2013

    I hear sermons every week too, and they are an important part of my life.  The ones I appreciate the most are the ones that are the hardest to listen to, the ones that address the hard issues people face every day, relationally, morally, etc.  Much like a budget, as you describe.  And yet, I do not have a formal budget.  I listen to several financial advisors, (you are one of them I enjoy), and I know it is missing from my life.  My wife pays our bills, and manages the money, and specifically does not want the burden of a budget.  I would like one, but since I am not the one managing the money, don’t feel I can demand it.  We went through Financial Peace with Dave Ramsey a couple of years ago, and learned a lot, including HOW to do a budget, and did one.  But we have not maintained it.  I guess this is a confessional too! -lol.  Thank you for your good work.  You make a difference in my life by influencing what I think about, and how I think about things. -Thank you.

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