“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:28-31 NIV)
The word “budget” for many seems to be a dirty word, but unless people are willing to consider the cost–of doing anything–before doing it, the end result could be disastrous. This is true for families, communities, local governments, the federal government and of churches. In order for there to be resources flowing out–there must be incoming resources. When expenses are greater than income–frustration rises and trouble and discord reign. We can see this with our governments all over the land.
Within the church and other non-profit organizations, many people do not realize–unless they are in charge of the finances–just how important a budget is. Since a number of churches are a resource to the communities in which they conduct business, they often expend far more than they receive from the membership of their organization. Whenever there is no policy or criteria by which a person is considered for consideration, the word gets out–and everyone who doesn’t want to work for a living or to provide for themselves comes knocking on the door–for a hand-out.
There is a reason for churches and other non-profit organizations obtaining and retaining a tax-exempt status. Most exist because of donations, volunteerism and they benefit more people than they have people contributing to their cause. However, at some point–if they are not careful about spending habits–they will cease to exist. We see this with schools, churches, and other organizations who had a good idea, but it was not a God-idea–because His principles were not used to either establish it or maintain it.
Welfare-mentality–always seeking a hand-out and never contributing to the source has become a way of life for many people and when they can’t get what they want, they get angry and start vicious rumors–never understanding they are not entitled to anything to which they have never contributed. This is why I fail to understand why there are some who feel–Social Security Benefits for those who have worked and contributed to the fund–is an entitlement program. Well, in one sense I suppose it is--I contributed to the fund through every job I ever had and now, I’m entitled to receive the benefits of my contribution. The reason the Social Security program is in danger is because of all those people who received the benefits through supplementary income criteria–from the Social Security pool of funds–and they never contributed to the fund! Someone–along the way–never considered the cost and now those who did contribute–are at risk.
“Wisdom is the principal thing and with all of our getting, we need to get understanding.” When we learn to exercise Godly principles in every area of our lives, we can avoid being defeated by anything that confronts, but we must always consider the cost–for every decision we make–looking far into the future and determining how a decision made today will impact that future.