Qualifiers like “always,” “never,” “everyone,” and “no one” are terms that I try to avoid when speaking. They leave zero room for possibility. And yet “everyone” has priorities in life. There is something that we ultimately value and devote a majority of our time, attention, and resources to while there are things we place no value in at all. It is our nature.
I know people who still carry the paper Franklin Covey in a nice leather binder. It is a tool to use for those who value time and tasks; efficiency and priorities. One of the things that Covey’s system of time management encourages is prioritization. The task, person or meeting that is most pressing for that day is your “A1” priority for the day. And then you go from there ranking by level of importance (A, B, or C; 1, 2 or 3) and deadline. Others of us use different systems and some people use no system what so ever! Ultimately we all prioritize – whether intentionally and systematically or based upon intuition.
I would propose to you that this covers each area of our lives. Some of us have priorities in our personal lives while others of us simply take it day by day. Some value priorities while others prioritize having no priorities. (Yeah…that makes sense.)
I want to ask you about what I think it is the most important area of your life. What are the priorities you have established to guide the use of money? John Wesley is well quoted for saying that you should “earn all you can, save all you can, and give away all you can.” I believe this implies a prioritization or strategy of some kind in order to live into this maxim. Another author (whose name escapes me at the moment) proposed a 10/10/80 rule as a strategy for money management.
Priority 1 – give 10% away
Priority 2 – pay yourself 10% through savings and investments
Priority 3 – learn to live off of the remaining 80%
I like the Wesley quote and the model for money management but putting it into effect in my life has been a journey. We’ve got priority 1 nailed – Margaret and I give 10% to the church – it is the remaining 10/80 split that we are still negotiating because of vacillating priorities. Hopefully we will get our act together sooner rather than later!
But how about you?
Do you have a money management strategy that honors God and yourself?
What are your priorities?
What model for money management do you use?
Is generosity to God a priority?
I firmly believe that generosity is a heart matter – it speaks volumes regarding our spiritual journey; our love of God and our appreciation for His divine blessing in our lives.
Anything short of generosity indicates that we have intentionally or by default focused on our selves. It also indicates that our relationship with God is not as important as other things.
Yes…accuse me of being frank. As a theologian this is my understanding of our relationship with God, others and self. I also think I’ve got a pretty good source of material to back me up on this as well!
But I don’t want to discourage you or make you feel guilty; conviction is the tool of God’s Holy Spirit. Rather I hope to encourage you.
Priorities shift all the time so take time to shift your priorities. What I pray you will do is make God number one in your life and the tangible signs of this will be a generous outpouring of your time, talent and treasure. And then let everything else be subject to negotiation for prioritization based upon your life stage.
I guess it really begins with the first priority – is your relationship with God the primary thing in your life? “Everything” else is dependent upon your answer to this question.
Blessings for the journey.