I enjoy my subscription to The Simply Luxurious Life. I find her content supremely helpful. Today I am inspired by this post. I want to cut back – but cutting back without a plan is a wasted effort. Of the practical tips she gave, I’m starting with:
- Pick the best week
- Well stocked kitchen tied to a capsule menu
- Prepaid cards and classes
- Visit the library [already do, but can get more creative with this and find new things to love]
- Carrot on a stick -> some treat for success [small but satisfying and bought with cash]
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
Here for more.
Strategy -> plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim…the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle.
Plan -> ???
Overall aim -> save more
Battle -> shopping
War -> the flesh and principalities
This war is serious…the battles change but the enemies are the same -> the world, the flesh and the devil.
Tactics -> an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.
- Plan not shopping adventures with specific replacement activity
- Pray when tempted
- Memorize applicable verses to repeat when tempted
- Avoid shopping grounds (sites and brick-and-mortar)
Works of the flesh don’t work long term – so what is my new plan?
Pray, study, reflect, and walk in the Spirit.
Really spend time thinking about what God thinks of each purchase and what kingdom good will be foregone [by me] with the expenditure.
It is clear I won’t be successful any other way. I like shopping, clothes, and stuff too much.
Success isn’t what I’m after per se (i.e. just for the sake of accomplishing) – I want to be a good steward and live out my faith.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”
See here again 🙂
Know myself and my enemy…hmmm…
Me – I like to shop and don’t always use logic to weed out junk purchases -> eliminate emotion! Sure I love it now…but…does it prevent something better or kill peace?
Flesh – also me, but the old me that died with Christ…the old desires I must now put to death
World – the value system of the world we live in as demonstrated by media and widely accepted values (consumerism, more is more, selfishness, esteeming self especially at the expense of doing what is best for others)…this Less is More devotional is GREAT! She always has strong and precise impact in keeping with some struggle or thought I am having. I never stop being amazed at how God works all these things!
Satan – roaring lion seeking to devour
Serious stuff. Shopping isn’t bad BUT:
- taken to the extreme it is problematic
- done in lieu of better pursuits (bible study, prayer, working on skills to work in one’s vocation as unto the Lord) is bad time management
- done selfishly in lieu of helping brothers & sisters who have needs that could be met with that same money (maybe shop for them!)
- always shopping demonstrates I am not all that grateful for what I have (ouch)
Motive is everything. I want to please God, not just hoard money, and succinctly define my plan to not sinfully shop is this:
- God Focus
via Prayer & Bible Study (specific to shopping/excess/etc and non-specific to learn more about God and how He views the behavior and other things)
Luke 12.25 — be on guard against all kinds of greed…life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. Greed apparently comes in many forms.
- Other Focus
via Friend Fund & Charities
Doing for others is the same as doing for God – the same is true of refusal (Matthew 25.45 NLT)
God’s love isn’t in those who have the ability to see needs met out of their own resources but won’t (1 John 3.17 NLT)
- Better Self Focus
via Thought Redirection & Focus on Goals – ST and LT
3 prongs! Hope I can keep them all in mind when I fall in love with the next pretty bauble 🙂
The first tactic -> decide one week a month to not shop. It will be a practice in:
- self control
- dying to the flesh in what will likely be many moments
- time management
Philippians 4.13! 🙂 The more I resist, the easier it will be going forward…but walking with God is just that, walking…one step at a time…one choice to obey at a time…and He is faithful not to allow me not to be tempted beyond what I can bear…I’ll pray He helps me pick the best/right week. 🙂
Note to self -> God’s got this and me.