New Journey Fellowship
|Posted on February 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM|
January 18, 2015
As you know, this past Thursday night we had the first class Financial Peace Class for this session. Truth is, we only introduced the class; we will have the first official class on this coming Thursday night. So, it's not too late to join the class for those who haven't taken it, or would like to take it again. Well, with regard to the class, I have also decided to write a series of "Pastor's Pens" about what I have learned about money. I hope you will read them all, and I hope they will help you as you deal with money in your own life.
First of all, let me say that I, in no way, claim to be an expert on money, however Dawn and I have not only taken the Dave Ramsey class, but have also had the privilege of leading the class on many occasions over the past 10 years or so. I believe that God has kept us going through this material over and over as a way of helping us to stay out of trouble. (For me, it is always much easier to talk about handling money than it is to actually handle money the right way.) Through the class, interaction with many different couples (in both good and bad situations) and through personal experience (many of which were mistakes that I have personally made with money) we have learned a few things. I will try to list them below.
One more thing before we start: Putting God first with regard to your money is the absolute most important thing that you can ever do with regard to money, but we will deal with this at the end. Please view all these points through that lens: Mark 8:36 ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’
Seven Truths about Money: 1. Saving money is hard.
One of the hardest things and I believe one of the most important things for anyone to do with money is to save it. Whether it's saving up for an emergency fund, saving up for a down payment for a house or saving to pay cash for a good quality used car we need to learn to save before we spend. This is much different than the popular view that says "Buy now and Pay Later." For most us, we find this to be very difficult. We typically blame this problem on the fact that we just don't make enough money. After all, we intend to save, but there just never seems to be money left after we pay our obligations. Well, the truth is, we are typically our own worst enemy. We all want to live the highest and best life style that we can (whether we can afford it or not.) We all "need" far too many toys and electronic gadgets, after all, why should we deny ourselves the things that we see our friends and co-workers with. If they have it, don't we deserve it too?
I remember a few years ago I had an opportunity to work an excessive amount of overtime, so I worked all that I could. I even set a goal for how much I would make that year, more than I had ever made in my life. Well, at the end of that year I had exceeded my financial goal for the year, and I also found that I was also in the most debt that I had ever been in also. The problem was, throughout that year I was working so hard that I thought, "I deserved anything and everything that I wanted". Simply put, I just didn't want to tell myself "No". It took us 3 years to recover from that one foolish year that I bought everything that I felt that I "deserved". On the other hand, if I had simply continued as I had been living the year before, I could have paid off some debt and still have ended up the year with a surplus. That is, I would have saved some money.
Well, I'm out of time and space. We will continue next time, but until then remember this, the way you spend your money is a reflection of who you are and what your priorities are.
- Pastor Tim