Many years ago I heard a sermon that pointed out that the three things listed as being “in the world” in I John 2:16 —
- The lust of flesh
- The lust of eyes
- The pride of life
are parallel with the way that Eve was tempted in the garden.
And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. — Genesis 3:6
The tree was good for food ==== The lust of the flesh
It was pleasant to the eyes ====The lust of the eyes
To be desired to make one wise ===The pride of life
You may be wondering how this is related to finances.
When we hear lust of the flesh, our minds tend to think of sexual lust. But Eve lusted after the fruit. Is it possible that our desire for food can cause us to overspend?
Obviously it is not sinful to eat. God created us to eat. He created us with taste buds so that we can enjoy our food. He created food that tastes good. But I think that many of us have trained our palettes to desire more and richer food than we need. (I think a look at the obesity statistics will back me up!)
One could also argue that excessive consumption of convenience foods and restaurant meals are a reflection of the lust of the flesh as well.
I don’t feel like cooking.
I’d rather relax and not spend time preparing a meal.
That is feeding our flesh. It feels good to go out and not have to do any cooking or clean up.
I want to be pampered!
I deserve to be pampered!
After a while, eating out can become an expectation rather than a treat.
So back to finances.
Take a look at your spending on food.
Do you eat out more than you should?
Do you buy more expensive food than you need?
It is entirely possible that a close look at your food buying habits could actually cause you to spend more. Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive! My point isn’t as much about saving money as it is thinking and praying about whether we are spending the money that God provides us in a way that honors Him.
And just a disclaimer here. These thoughts are somewhat new to me. I would not like to display the contents of my refrigerator and pantry. I have some junk foods that I really like. I’m also not saying that to be truly spiritual you must eat in a certain way. But there are some things that I have considered “needs” that are really just “wants”. Recognizing them as wants instills a more grateful attitude when I have them, and may help me to sacrifice them to benefit our budget.
Is there something that is a staple in your house that you don’t really need?