“If a defining characteristic of the modern world is disorder, then the most fundamental act of resistance is to establish order. If we don’t have internal order, we will be controlled by our human passions and by the powerful outside forces…”
That quote opens Rod Dreher’s discussion on Order – one of the Rules for Living in his latest book The Benedict Option. As I read the book, the intersections of our personal finances and living a counter-cultural life are everywhere. Some obvious (forgoing materialism for simplicity), some subtle.
One common characteristic of people that win with money is that their personal finances are in Order. It doesn’t have to be a fancy system. It doesn’t have to be electronic with spreadsheets and apps. It doesn’t have to be super nerdy with detail down to the last penny. However, people that win with money have their “house in order”. They display what the author of Proverbs called “diligence”.
It might be infinitely practical; I might need to track my spending in writing. Maybe create a file folder for next year’s taxes. Do a simple budget every month. Balance my checkbook. These are all examples of creating a life of order.
It can also be a grand vision of my place in the universe. Dreher highlights three understandings of order:
- Discovery of The Order, the logos, that God has written into the nature of creation and seeking to live in harmony with it.
- Realization of natural limits within Creation’s givenness, as opposed to believing that nature is something we can deny or refute, according to our own desires.
- Disciplining one’s life to live a life to glorify God and help others.
This week, if it is as grand as seeking to live in harmony with the universe or as imminently practical as opening and processing all our mail each week, lets seek a life of order.