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Chapter 6

Who manages your time and money?

 

Who or what manages our lives is not an issue for most Australians. We all just seem to go along the pathways of life doing our best with the problems of life. Husbands and wives generally rely on each other to a fair degree, as they both contribute to the running of the family. Wives are often the butt of male jokes, when men joke about their wives being in charge. Women of course, are sometimes ruled by dominating husbands who do not seem to really care about their spouses. Likewise, men too, are sometimes controlled by manipulating women. Sometimes, even the motherinlaw gets the credit for controlling family life.

The most common position is that each individual does the best they can in the circumstances of life and they get help from others when they cannot manage. It is at these times in life, when things are difficult, that we may wish we had a manager to consult, to guide us through the stormy waters of life.

Who controls your life?

How do you cope with the difficulties that occur with the ordinary things of life? What happens when the boss wants more than what is reasonable, or wants you to work much longer hours, gives you a job you don't want to do, or retrenches you with just a " sorry"? What happens when there just isn't enough money to go around, when not only aren't the little luxuries of life available, but neither is there money for basic clothes, school excursions, a nice steak or a holiday?

These things can cause trauma in the best of families. So where do people turn when these things come upon them? Where do you turn? Carl and Scott provide a comparison of styles in managing life in relation to work and money. Managing money and work life are good things to learn about, because they both tend to play an important part in the whole of life.

Carl.

Pressure was not new to Carl. He had a responsible job, which often made him late home from work and the nature of his job in electronics, meant that he had to continuously attend training courses at night school. Also, he had been co-opted onto the school committee where his children attended. He played sport every saturday and when he wasn't gardening on sunday, visited friends and relatives. He frequently had to do a bit of work at home to supplement his income, which he then used in various ways for the family.

Because of his commitments, his family life was rather minimal and his wife carried most of the burden of the three primary school children. Carl showed that he was quite a good manager of his life, although over a long period of time the strain began to show in a number of ways. His long hours away from home brought anxiety to the life of his wife, and the children began to cause difficulties. This led to strain between him and his wife. Carl and his wife did not have strong family ties with parents and so did not get their help in the early stages of the problem.

Then came the crunch! Carl lost his job because of a merger of two companies. The resulting financial pressure had the result of causing marriage problems and driving the partners apart. Carl and his wife were like a ship without a rudder. Although they recovered from this initial change, they couldn't manage the difficulties that continued to pursue them. When work began to master his life, and money his actions, he lost control of what really mattered in life in terms of family and lost it all.

You May well say that this story is typical of many lives and there's nothing that you can do about such events. This sort of thing May have happened to you or one of your neighbours. But there is more to the story to come. Firstly however, something about Scott.

Scott.

Scott grew up in U.S.A. in a state that you would say was conservative. His own neighbourhood was middle class and along with many americans, he was taught good moral values, much of this relating to his parents involvement in a traditional church. He did not particularly involve himself deeply in the spiritual aspects of the church, a fact he later regretted.

Like many of his peers he went to university when he finished college and graduated in subjects related to economics and business. He did so well and was so intelligent, that a large corporation engaged him immediately. He was very successful and his work life became the whole of his life. He put it first, second and third.

However, deep within himself he was empty. Not something he could easily explain. Just a lack of fulfilment, despite his obvious success in business. His parents were very helpful to him and he would listen to them patiently (sometimes) in their efforts to help him see what his problems were. During this period of inner turmoil, Scott commissioned many new plants for this corporation and had promises from the management of a bigger job to come soon.

Over a period of six months this offer never came, and he began to have doubts about his ability, despite his earlier success. What he had been doing in fact, was working very hard to keep up a reasonable level of self esteem. He needed his work to feel good about himself. Not a recipe for a healthy emotional state! He got himself into quite a state about his inability to run his life and feel good about it.

Because of his spiritual background, Scott began to think about God and what God would say about this situation. Scott didn't see how he could pursue a career in business and, at the same time, put God first. This bothered him greatly. But over a period of time, God showed him that if he would put God first before his job, then God would look after all aspects of his life, including his business life.

Scott May not have fully realised it then, but this is what the bible says about what comes first in life. So Scott began to do things God's way, with remarkable results. Firstly, God provided him with a beautiful wife in quite an extraordinary way. Secondly, God showed Scott that he had a special job for him in the business world, a fact that relieved the earlier anxieties that he felt. If God approved, then who was he to interfere with God's plans.

Thirdly, Scott is now working with a multi-national company to develop their line of business in other countries of the world. The most interesting thing about this company is that they accepted Scott on the understanding that his priorities are God first, wife and family second and job third. Imagine that! A large corporation accepting a person that does not put the company first. Yet he is totally accepted in that organisation and under those conditions, by people who do not share his Christian beliefs.

God's part in Scott's life.

There is a simple principle involved here. The essence of it is that if you give your life to God to control, and you are obedient to his control, then you are bound to succeed in what you do, because God himself is assisting every step of the way. You might say that God is using you to do his will. The ways of God and his power to do such things are discussed in chapters 21 and 22.

When Scott was able to put aside his desires and give God his frustrations, God was able to do a remarkable thing in his life. In providing for every part of Scott's life, God also provided for him and his wife financially. Scott is confident that no matter what the circumstances, God will always provide for his needs. The difference now is that Scott has God to manage his life. All he has to do is co-operate with God. Just as moses relied on God to part the red sea, Scott relies on God for modern miracles of provision.

What happened to Carl?

Carl's life disintegrated about him. But better things were to come. Through the influence of a member of a church, he eventually found the perfect manager for his life - Jesus Christ. Once Carl put his life in the care of God, he found that he could trust and rely on him for everything. Some things took a bit of time, but gradually God taught Carl how to rely on him. All Carl had to do was to trust and obey.

Who manages your life?

Two men, Carl and Scott, different people, different lives, different circumstances, but both needing a divine manager to manage their lives for them. But you May ask, why put your life in the control of a person you can't even see? The secret is this. From adam to the baby born one second ago, God was and is instrumental in the beginning of the life of every human being. He designed us. He knows how we work. He knows what makes us tick. He knows the beginning of our life from the end. By deciding to go God's way we are putting our lives in the hands of our creator.Who better than father God to plan and control our life for us, through the agency of his holy spirit, who can come to live in us.

Your situation May not be exactly the same as Scott's or Carl's, but the principle is always the same. God comes first ! If you are convinced of this on the basis of this chapter alone, then go straight to part three of the book to see how you can begin to put God first. You will never regret it! And don't forget the bonus of eternal life that you gain at the same time.

What this chapter has said.

  1. Managing your own life without God is missing out on his supernatural power to help you in your life.
  2. People who try to do it all themselves, often finish up in great difficulty.
  3. Handing your life over to God always results in incredible things happening.
  4. Handing your life over to God removes the emptiness that is present in lives without God.
  5. It is possible to recover from a life lived for self and turn it into a fulfilling life lived for God.