I am currently readingEnoughby Adam Hamilton, and following along closely with Tom’s sermon series. I am finding that many of the principles in the book are not new, but yet a great reminder of how we can live free from anxiety related to financial management if we adhere to certain principles on a regular basis. As I started reading the book, I thought to myself, this is for other people because my family is not burdened by credit card debt and we have saved money for college and retirement. I got to feeling all puffed up with pride — that was until I read chapter 2 this week. In this chapter Adam Hamilton discusses the squandering of money just because you have additional resources above and beyond regular financial commitments. When I read this chapter, I realized how much money I spend on incidentals throughout the week and month. There are so many, I simply cannot account for them all. These incidentals are relatively cheap (we’re not talking flat screen TVs here), so I convince myself that I don’t need to budget for them. On page 33, Adam writes this, “Every dollar we choose to waste is a dollar that could be used for something more meaningful-something that would have lasting impact. It could be saved or invested for retirement or given to help others and support God’s kingdom work.”That is certainly a convicting lens for me to look through when I examine the amount of money I squander on incidentals I don’t need, just because I have the money. How sad it is that I would choose to buy a $3.10 chai latte at Starbucks than pay for food that will save the life of a child in Somalia. It just doesn’t get any more convicting than that.

This series on discovering joy through simplicity and generosity has given me a great opportunity to talk to my teenage daughter about how we should utilize our financial resources. After Tom’s first sermon in the series, she got in the car after church and started talking about how meaningful the sermon was. At a relatively young age, she is starting to understand that financial resources can be used in such a powerful way to address issues of social injustice in the world, like children in poverty. She is starting to realize that she has an obligation to give back and that this practice is so much more meaningful than having all the latest fashion accessories all the time. She is still a teenager, and she still asks for things she doesn’t need, but I’ve noticed a significant change in her thinking related to the joy of simplicity, having less, and doing more for others. For those with teenagers, I encourage you to use this series to have substantive conversations with them about financial management and how they can live a life free from financially related anxiety and give in ways that bless others for years to come.

It’s not too late to catch up with the series and read the book if you haven’t started already. Even if the principles are not new, my guess is that there will be one or two nuggets of wisdom you cantake away from the reading. I pray that all of us can remember that there is joy in simplicity and generosity.

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