Some evening when you have a spare moment, get out your old checkbook registers and read through the entries. You may find it interesting, and perhaps somewhat startling, to discover just how the money you’ve earned has been spent.

The entries will read like a family history book. They chronicle every major event—births, deaths, and illnesses—and quite accurately reflect your tastes, habits, and interests.

They record your vacations, travels, and other moves. They also tell much about how expensively you dress or how extravagantly you eat. The total spent in each category will pinpoint the things that make the greatest demands on your income— either because of need or by choice.

Such a checkbook checkup might also show our spiritual temperature. The contributions given to the work of the Lord compared with the expenditures for the unnecessary things of life offer some clues. If nothing has gone to the church or to people in need, but large sums were spent for personal gratification, we need to examine our values.

Does your checkbook indicate that you’ve been “rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share”? (1 Tim. 6:18).

Try doing a checkbook checkup today.