I don’t know about you, but I hate to be put in the position of little or no choice. So I don’t put myself there… on purpose… and neither should you!

I know how different it feels when I CAN’T by something versus when I WON’T buy something. When we make decisions and stick to them, we take the power and the control back. When we go to the store for 3 items and leave with 10 (or more) we are the victim. We consider ourselves spoiled for all we have when in reality we are like sheep being led to the slaughter.

If soaring gas prices are what we need for this reality check, then so be it. Now is the time to step up and be the leaders our families need us to be. Respected leaders aren’t those that give you whatever you want, whenever you want it. Leadership is more purposeful and intentional. True leaders understand the benefits of hardship and don’t give in to whining from their troops!

Strength comes from resistance, it makes us tough. Strength does not come from abundance… that makes us soft. And if you don’t believe this, just look at the stats at what an abundance of food has done to our overweight society, we are getting soft. Being spoiled isn’t cool, it’s fattening.

We must be wary of “the continual lust for more” as speaks of in Ephesians!

“Disposable Income” Hmmm, I wonder how many other cultures even know what that means. I challenge you to put some of your “disposable income” to better use… it will put you back in control. Remember, what you feed will grow, so be careful what you are feeding. And with gas prices continuing to climb a choice must be made, make it now on purpose instead of later when you are backed up against a wall.

These are a few of the “wants” that come from disposable income, or at least I hope we aren’t taking food off the table for any of this:

1. Kids with cell phones (I see them in elementary schools even!)

2. Children having televisions with cable, computers, phones and stereos in their rooms. Why would we do this? It’s as though we don’t want to see our kids! Even if times weren’t getting tough, why would you let this garbage into their rooms where they should be safe!

3. Babies wearing Nike tennis shoes… babies don’t know or care, they can’t even walk yet! So… who are we trying to impress?

4. Webkinz – a phenomenon that even in the poorest of areas children have 5, 10, 20 of these! As parents we are to teach self control, an important element missing in our society!

5. Junk toys from China! As a Professional Organizer I will tell you that 100% of this junk ends up in the garbage almost immediately after purchase, it’s not even worthy to donate! This is where we begin to unleash that “continual lust for more” because “it’s only a dollar” so we buy and buy and buy. If you want to teach your kids that quantity is more important than quality, just continue to add to this mess.

6. Do we have to go out to eat so much? Every restaurant is packed, no matter what time of day! If we have kids that get mad when we don’t stop at McDonalds, we have been going there too often… this is bad on so many levels!

7. With all the complaining about gas, how come I’m still fighting crowds in every store no matter what time of day it is? We shop all the time! Remember when it was an “event” and how much fun it was to look forward to shopping! We’ve been missing the opportunity of teaching anticipation. Let’s give them something to look forward to, something that can be special, instead of taken for granted.

8. How many of us play the lottery? If you are going to just give your money away, how about if you give that $2 or $20 to someone less fortunate! I guarantee a better return for your money on that one.

9. We could trim our electric bill by turning off our many television sets and play with our children, read a great book, learn something new or organize a space in your home! How about going over your priorities to make sure what you think, say and do reflect them. Take the time to reflect where you are now and how to get where you want to be. As a life coach I know that this is true: If you don’t plan for your future you are planning for failure.

There are so many things we do that rob us of our control, these are just a few. But if you don’t think any of the above applies to you or that you don’t waste any money, I challenge you to write down every penny you spend this week. You will be shocked and ready to make a difference. I DARE YOU, consider yourself challenged!

We need to learn the power of self control. We’re looking at our situation wrong… when we look at it like we have no choice and have to “give up” it weakens us. So let’s look at this from the powerful point of CHOICE. When you choose to exercise self control you unleash a power you never would have known you had. AND WE ALL HAVE IT. Self control is the biggest character builder on earth. Choose your power!

Hey, we’re Christian America… we are the pioneers, we are the creative inventive community and when push comes to shove (and looks like we’re getting there) we will rise to the occasion and find an alternative fuel. But in the meantime, take this challenge and be in control. Let it be your decision to start the change, the position of Power, not forced on you later when you have no choice… that is the position of a victim. God IS in control.

Remember… I challenge you!

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Author's Bio: 

Christian Professional Organizer, Author, Speaker and Internet TV producer