On Being Expedient

Decision making…one of the tasks we do every second of every day. Even writing this blog post was a decision as well as every word I have chosen to use to convey my message.  We decide what to wear, when to eat, what to eat, who we talk to or don’t talk to as the case may be.  We decide where to live, to rent or buy a home, so many choices day in…day out.  Sometimes we choose well.  Other times not so much.

Expediency tends to play a role in those times where we make decisions we end up regretting.  Expedient decisions are those we make that are advantageous and not necessarily right or good.  We choose what is easiest in the moment.  The reality is: every decision has a consequence and the problem we face it that we usually don’t want to “suffer the consequences” of our expedient decisions.  And yet we still make them.

I know one thing that has helped me not make expedient financial decisions is to push the pause button on my “I want” meter.  After taking the Financial Peace class at my church over 8 years ago, I realized I had some spending habits I didn’t need.  I still have some but for the most part I am able to really wrestle with the question: should I purchase or not…especially with larger purchases.  I am known to say when I am out and about that Dave Ramsey ruined my shopping sprees!

When it comes to personal decision making however that is another matter.  It is hard to resist peer pressure and peer pressure exists at all ages!  I remember when my children were young and birthday parties were becoming status symbols.  Parents were getting bounce houses, ponies, and making sure every child went home with a significantly stuffed “goodie” bag.  We were a one income family and at the time we definitely did not have the resources to spend hundreds of dollars on a birthday party.  So instead of going into debt…I chose to have family only gatherings for my children.  It was not an easy decision.  There was a lot of pressure from friends.  (Ironically there was no pressure from my children.) And it was not the expedient choice.

I love how Paul puts it in I Corinthians 10:23 – “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible but not everything is constructive.” I think is it wise, when we make decisions that we first ask ourselves if the choice is a wise choice for us to make. Even and maybe especially if it goes against what everyone else is doing.  The simple fact is: our decisions have consequences…some good…some bad.  If we would take the time pushing pause so we can thoughtfully think about what we are doing, or planning as we consider all our options…maybe we might get better at making good decisions saving us from the consequences of our expedient ones.