Budgeting has been on the minds of many of us lately. With the cost of daily living rising astronomically recently, most of us have to buckle down and pay attention to where our hard-earned dollars are being spent.
I have 8 kids… you don’t even want to know what my weekly grocery bill is!!
Budgeting and personal finance have always interested me. Perhaps it is because I have been married for a long time to a spreadsheet-loving numbers nerd who is fascinated by analyzing and crunching numbers to achieve specific goals. His enthusiasm is actually quite contagious!
My biggest takeaway from years of practicing personal finance discipline is appreciating delayed gratification. Saying no to small things in the moment helps me to realize much bigger goals. This muscle has been practiced over and over again, so comes quite naturally to us now, but I’m a self-control hot mess in other areas of my life! Like chocolate… instant gratification wins EVERY TIME!
If you have been following our identity series, you may remember my post from two weeks ago when I blogged about being a daughter of the King. (To Let Yourself Be Loved- Child of God) Being a child of God is a scriptural concept, rather than a nice feel-good identity.
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”
You are a beloved Child of God. This IS your identity. This IS your birthright as a baptized Christian.
Do you know who else understands the immense value of being a child of God? Satan. Satan will do everything in his power to steal this identity from you… but I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s back up for a moment and watch an Old Testament character forfeit his birthright identity for instant gratification.
Way back in Genesis, there were two twins born to Isaac and Rebekah; Esua and Jacob. These brothers were at odds with each other before they were even born! Genesis, CHAPTER 25 | USCCB
So now fast forward to when the twins, who are polar opposites, grow up. The eldest son, Esua, goes out hunting for the day and comes back famished. The younger brother, Jacob, had made some red lentil soup. Esua asked for a bowl and the cunning Jacob replied that he would give him some in exchange for his birthright.
Esua doesn’t really argue much and quickly agrees to the terms. Um, Esua? Your birthright is a pretty big deal!! He cared so little for it that he gave it up for a bowl of lentil soup… it wasn’t even a steak dinner!
His need for instant gratification blurred his judgment and he gave away his very identity!
Let’s come back to the tempter. The devil is very manipulative and good at illusions. He loves to trick us into giving up our birthright. He is smart enough to know that many of us won’t just give it up all in one sitting as Esua did, but we are willing to give it up one little piece at a time.
He will tempt us to sell part of our birthright for the instant gratification of wasting our time on our phones instead of attending to our duties.
He may tempt us to push snooze one more time so that our mornings are rushed and our payer time either gets super rushed or simply skipped.
Or maybe he will tempt us by keeping the peace instead of defending a situation or person that deserves defending, but we find it much easier to keep quiet than stir the pot.
There are countless examples that I could give, but you get the point. Every time we choose the “easy” way out of a moral situation, we are giving up our identity as a precious child of God. Nobody ever claimed that the Christian life was an easy one. If it were, St. Paul wouldn’t have implored us to run the race in such a way as to get the prize. He encouraged us to train to win, not just simply compete.
We were given this invaluable gift as a child of God at our baptism. It’s ours to keep if we so choose! But it takes a lot of discipline and humility to do so. Fortunately, God is a good Father and gives us everything we need to persevere through the graces we receive in living a sacramental life.
How refreshing to know that we get a clean slate each and every time we go to confession. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we receive additional graces to keep us away from sin.
If we are living in a state of grace (meaning there are no mortal sins on our souls) our venial sins are wiped away at each and every mass during the penitential rite.
Praise be Jesus Christ for His Mercy!
We are living in a society that glorifies instant gratification. This isn’t the Christian way. Just like having to say no to a restaurant invitation because it isn’t in your budget, saying no to those temptations that go against our identity as children of God is building a delayed gratification muscle. While the former will lead you to a comfortable retirement, the latter will lead you to an eternity of glory in your birthright home of heaven.
Claim your identity, and boldly live as a proud Child of God.
Until next time, your sister in Christ,