The title of this article is not a statement describing an involuntary “belt-tightening” because of the fears that are associated with a downturn in the economy or a change in your financial situation. It is when you choose to voluntarily reduce your current lifestyle—a willing reduction.
One of the primary objectives in family legacy and Christian estate planning for those who have surplus cash flow and excess wealth is to ensure that they can maintain their current lifestyle. They may say, in other words, “I am willing to be as charitable as possible with my ‘wealth’ as long as it does not negatively impact my current lifestyle.” However, some families do choose to live voluntarily on less instead of maintaining their current lifestyle. So what would lead a person to happily and willingly live on less? Maybe it is because they found something more to live for!
In order for you to choose to live on less there would have to be a change in one or more of these three areas—(1) one’s Perspective, (2) one’s Priorities, and/or (3) one’s Purpose.
1. A Change in Perspective
If we could pile up all of Bill Gate’s and Warren Buffet’s “stuff” in one place, it might not even be noticed if you were in a plane at 35,000 feet. How much more insignificant are things if viewed from the footstool of Heaven? If a man or woman were to see the trappings of his or her current lifestyle from the perspective of Heaven, he/she might just conclude there is undoubtedly something “more to live for” than the insignificant and temporary creature comforts of the current lifestyle.
Matt. 13: 44-66 “…The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
2. A Change in Priorities
If your child has a ball game, and you also have an opportunity to play golf with your best friends, which you choose will demonstrate your priorities. If you had to choose between helping your child with their college expenses or buying a new car, your pre-set priorities would determine which choice you make. Likewise, when given the choice between deploying your material resources for Kingdom purposes of buying a bigger home or the latest luxury car, your priorities will determine your choice.
For a man to choose to “live on less” it requires a radical reordering of existing priorities and these newly reordered priorities may reveal to him that there is much “more to live for.”
3. A Change in Purpose
Why do you have all the wealth that you have? Did God give us excess material possessions to increase our lifestyle or to increase our Kingdom impact? (Remember, God owns all by nature of being the Creator and by sacrificing his son on the cross for us) Did our Father provide us with surplus resources so we could be “rich in lifestyle” or so we would be “rich in good deeds” (I Timothy 6:18)?
Jesus was the richest “man” in the universe and yet facing a divine purpose that collided with His exalted place in Heaven. He willingly “humbled Himself” and “made Himself nothing” (Philippians 2:6-8). He came to a dirty, sin-filled, world to accomplish this divine purpose. He downsized from a throne in Heaven to a cross on Calvary.
Do you think you are being called to live on less? The only way to know is to go to the Father and ask him. There may be much more for you to live for than you could ever imagine!
Download this free ebook that will help you understand what’s possible once you discover how to become a better steward by eliminating taxes by focusing on Kingdom causes that will enable you to build an enduring family legacy.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.