What do you see in the mirror?
If I ask you to look in a mirror and inwardly reflect, what do you see?
I often look at myself and wonder how I came to be. I don’t have the body of a Greek god, yet I know I haven’t put forth the effort. I see scars that have healed, but the memories of those scars still haunt me. I often see the boy I once was and not this near fifty-year-old man looking back at me. I try hard to look for the positivity of the man in the mirror, yet the flabbiness of this mentally strong athlete draws the focus of my eyes. I know my worth. I know I’m made in the likeness of both my earthly and heavenly fathers. I’m a father, husband, leader, disciple, and believer. I talk to the man in the mirror about believing in what’s possible in the future and learning from the past. Gazing in the mirror is not easy. Sometimes it can be downright terrifying, but what I say to the man in the mirror shapes my outlook on the day ahead and gives me hope.
Where are you going with this, Coach Ryan?
Well, the word "budget" sometimes has the same energy as that of asking someone to look in the mirror. Some are proud of what they might see and feel honored to reflect on what they have achieved. For others, a budget can be the scariest thing on the planet. It can expose you to your past decisions, maybe scars of financial abuse, a record of bad choices, or the reality of the financial struggles you face every day. Budgeting does require us to face our past or our reality, but it also allows us a sense of control. Most will still take the emotionally easier path of blissful ignorance, as it is easier to go about the day murmuring than face the situation head on.
I’m here to tell you to look in the mirror. Create a budget. Learn to live within a budget. It's worth it. It's worth understanding where you stand. Your past is your past. The mirror isn’t going to change it. Neither is a budget. A budget, like a mirror, is a tool to help you reflect and take control of the person reflected.
Past decisions don’t necessarily dictate future outcomes.
God gave us the gift of agency, and more importantly, he gave us a Savior, Jesus Christ, to forgive and forsake our past. Through his grace, we are made whole. A budget is a choice you make to face your past financial self and to take control of your future financial self. God believes in you, and you are never alone.
If you fear facing and living on a budget, know that God and our Savior believe in you, and if you need someone to walk beside you, know that we are here to help you face your fears, show charity, and provide some hope.