When your are eating out on your employer's dollar, do you spend more or less? I would say the average employee is more likely to spend more knowing that they do not have to pay the bill themselves. I am the opposite. I am very mindful when The Soderquist Center is purchasing my meal or anything really. Partially because I work for non-profit where "every little bit counts" but partially because it's not my money to spend. I stopped to ponder whether or not I would spend differently if I worked for a for-profit organization. But high expenses just get passed along to the customer/client. That doesn't sit real well with me either. I am more likely to eat a big steak dinner on my own dollar than that of someone else (except maybe my parents - some habits die hard).
But as I was discussing this with a co-worker, a thought hit me. I will spend my money frivolously because I know that I am the one it impacts. But that's a lie. The money and possessions that I have are not mine but God's. Now, I do not want to give the wrong impression. Nathan & I are by no means squanderers of our money - but there's always room for improvement. If I would manage my money with as much care and thought that I manage my employers, how much more could God do with it?! Ultimately, it does not just impact me - it impacts the person on the street who desperately needed the $20 that I just spent on a ridiculously portioned meal or the mission trip that I cannot take because I can't seem to give up the latest "must have." God has a bigger purpose for my finances than just my personal pleasure. Granted, I do believe it is biblical to enjoy the fruits of our labor - but I believe true joy comes from giving. Nathan and I daydream about the day that we can go to a restaurant and leave a $100 tip for a deserving waiter. Or meeting the needs of a neighbor by providing the funds that they cannot find. As Dave always says, "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else."