This spring, the strategic husband (TSH) and I read a book by Randy Alcorn: Money, Possessions, and Eternity (see note). This book doesn’t provide a financial plan. Rather I would summarize its message as this: Remember your money is God’s. Ask Him what He wants you to do with it, and use it to gain eternal riches.
At one part Randy (as TSH and I like to call him) describes the difference between simple living for simple living’s sake and strategic living:
“The American church, taking its cue from our culture has adopted a peacetime mentality, consequently, we like a peacetime lifestyle. But Scripture says we’re at war. We should make sacrifices commensurate to this crisis that we may win the war. […We might …] call it a “strategic” lifestyle. If I’m devoted to “simple” living,” I might reject a computer because it’s modern and nonessential. But if I live a wartime or strategic lifestyle, the computer may serve as a tool for kingdom purposes. Simple living may be self-centered. Strategic living is kingdom centered.[…] “
Just to add a bit of balance here, I’ll include the part that comes a few sentences later:
“I’m thankful that in the midst of his command that the rich be generous, Paul tells them to put their hope in God, “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (I Timothy 6:17) Even in wartime, it’s important to have battle breaks. Soldiers need rest and recreation. …There’s nothing wrong with spending money for modest pleasures that renew and revive us, especially considering that our battle will last a lifetime.”
The war he is talking about isn’t against other people or political parties, but it is against Satan’s design for this world: sin and its consequences ( illness, poverty, destruction, death).
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” –Ephesians 6:12 ESV
This chapter struck me as the way I want to live. I want to remember that I’m in a spiritual battle, and I want to have strategic use of my resources, whether that be time, money, or possessions. I want to intentionally use these resources to grow in my knowledge of God, to teach my children about Him, to love and encourage TSH, to love others, and to further expand His kingdom.
I am starting this blog because I feel a huge desire to share with all my friends what God is teaching me so that it can help you as well. Additionally I hope it will keep me accountable to you all to live strategically. Some posts will be more spiritual in nature. Some will be have money-saving tips I learn as I grow in my skill as a mom. Some will be sewing projects, crafts, or family-friendly recipes, but I’ll try to keep the theme of strategic living throughout. Have you ever thought about living with a wartime mentality? Is there anything you would like me to blog about? Please leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!
Note: It’s a really long book. We had downloaded it to my husband’s kindle, and first realized it was a big book when I was at page 40, and only something like 5% through the book. But it is divided into descriptive chapters, so you can definitely skip to a chapter with a topic you are interested in. It is really good, and I recommend it if you aren’t afraid to be convicted!