It's about your heart. And I learned this because of the "only-possible-through-God" changes that have happened in my heart since I started my debt pay off.
See growing up, I was spoiled and selfish (blame it on being the baby of the family). I was also very into clothes, so I bought what I wanted and spent every dollar I ever had to be as fly as possible and have the best labels as possible. I thought the purpose of money was simply to make me happy. I didn't think it was connected to anything other than my wants.
Still having this "baby of the family" attitude well into my 20s, God decided it was time for my attitude to change and allowed me to start this debt pay-off plan. I started the journey thinking this was all about my betterment, to make my finances better so I can have more money to spend on what I wanted. I even set the goal that at the end of the journey, I would splurge and buy myself a Chanel boy bag as a reward for my hard work. Cause that's what money was for: me.
And then I got on the journey and realized God had other plans. He showed me how my spending habits were tied to my childishness, which was tied to my selfishness, which was really tied to my insecurities, which was really tied to my pride. Dang. So money wasn't all about me, and it was connected to something bigger: my heart.
God started challenging every ideology I had by challenging the way I spent money. Simply by operating within the boundary of a budget and not being able to hide behind constant purchases of new clothes, shoes and bags, God was healing my heart and dealing with my childish ways. Two verses sobered me deeply and helped shift my perspective on money and my heart during this journey:
1 Corinthians 13: 1 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways: God showed me how my purchases reflected an immaturity in my heart. I wanted what I wanted so I did what I wanted to get it when I wanted. That's what children do. Children are impulsive; children don't have a plan for their actions; children act without thinking about the long term repercussions. Children think everything is about and for them. During debt pay off, I was met with the hard question of, "Are you going to act like a child or a grown up," and I was not ready to face that question until I started paying off my debt.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also: My purchases revealed what was really going on in my heart. The way I was handling my finances revealed what I really believed, and when I sat down to look at my money before a budget, I saw my issues. My purchases revealed a lack of contentment, a lot of selfishness and a lot of distance from the God I claimed to love. It was not a pretty picture. Want to know what you really believe or where your heart is truly invested? Look at your bank statement. It will give you an answer quickly.
God used paying off my debt to change my money habits and ], more importantly, my heart. So i paid off my debt and I didn't buy a Chanel purse. I gave away $1000 instead cause I finally realized the real purpose of money any way. And wouldn't you know it's about more than me. Go figure.
I might still buy that bag though. Pray for me, y'all. He's not through with me yet.