I used to be in charge of the budget in our house. I had an excel spreadsheet that kept track of all the budget items. If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey, then you have probably heard the term “zero-based budget”: you tell every dollar of yours where it goes before you get it so that there is ZERO leftover money at the end of the budget. Every dollar has a name assigned to it, whether it be “savings” or “groceries” or “blow money”. I took this advice and ran with it. In every direction. We were trying to pay off debt, yes, but I took it upon myself to squeeze as much as I could from the budget to buy things like pig fat and half cows. Not really kidding. I would open my excel spreadsheet several times a week to try to find ways to squeeze this last supplement into the budget. I moved money around and changed its name so often that it became very hard to keep track of.
Then one day, seeing the way this burdened me, my husband asked: “Would you like me to take over?”
I handed over the reigns to him and out of all that mess he gave me just one thing to be in charge of. The grocery budget. Within the confines of this grocery budget my job was to try to save as much money as I could. I took my task and ran with it and instantly started saving us $40 a month on groceries.
My husband took the rest of the budget and made it flourish. Whatever magic he did to it worked. Three years later and we have finally said goodbye to the last penny of debt that we owed. We would not have been able do do it without this change in management.
At around the same time that this budget switch took place, God was teaching me a spiritual lesson. All the cares in the world, all my worries, all the ways I was trying to have and keep control over every little thing, Jesus saw the way this burdened me and asked me the same question that my husband had: “Would you like me to take over?”
Guard your Heart
Jesus tells us to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23. In the design this week your heart is the flower. Coming into your heart are thoughts, worries, cares, current circumstances, things you see, and things you hear. Coming out of your heart on the other side is the same pattern of dots and lines. What you let into your heart will flow out of your heart, and will be spoken by your mouth. You may find yourself spilling out complaints or disgruntlements if your heart is holding onto something bitter.Download the PDF here!
What’s our role?
Jesus is the filter, Jesus is the wall, he’s the posted guard, but we’ve got a job to do too:
1 – Take every thought captive. Don’t entertain every thought like you don’t have a choice. You do! The scripture tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ! (2 Cor 10:5)
2 – As soon as a care comes in, cast it on Jesus. (1 Peter 5:7) He gives us rest by taking upon himself the things that burden us. (Matthew 11:28-30) He gives us rest by asking us to employ our wits to accomplish ONLY the things HE has put in front of us. My reduced job description after giving over the budget to my husband was just the grocery budget. My reduced job description after giving over my cares to Jesus was just 3 things: my husband, my son, and my home. As I became more able to handle life, that list has increased. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by all I have going on, I come back and re-evaluate to make sure I’m still aligning with his will.
Guarding your heart doesn’t mean withholding love from people, it doesn’t mean not letting anyone love you, it means as soon as a care comes in, you bring it straight to the guard. If your heart fills up with good things, then good things will flow from it and will be able to touch the lives of others.