Monday, October 13, 2008

Financial Peace

Vicki and I have been going through Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University.” After just a few weeks of the class it’s already had a significant impact on the way we look at and manage our money. And the things we are learning are really helpful to us regardless of the state of the economy.

Here’s what has surprised me about the current financial crisis: it doesn’t scare me. I’m not happy about it, and I’d much rather live in an up economy, but I’m really not worried about our future. And the real kicker for me is that I’m not trying to not worry, I’m not trying to somehow generate faith, I’m not trying to be “extra faithful” in the hope that God will take care of us.

Here’s what I think I’ve learned. God is more concerned about my character than he is about my financial well being. So if I have issues that need to be addressed regarding where I am putting my faith he’s not going to wait for the economy to tank to help me learn what I need to learn. He can put me in a financially difficult place regardless of what is happening on Wall Street if that’s what he needs to do to get my attention.

Of course that means the opposite is true as well. A bad economy doesn’t mean anything to God, either. He can provide just as easily in a bull market or a bear market, in a recession or a depression or in the crazy tech bubble of the ‘90’s when people seemed to be making money hand over fist every day.

So I really do have financial peace today. Vicki and I (more than likely just like you) have lost quite a bit of money over the past few weeks. So if anything, I have financial peace because I finally learned that my finances really have little or nothing to do with my peace. My peace comes from allowing God to have his way with me as best as I can. And money has nothing to do with that unless I let it become my master in God’s rightful place. And if that happens, God’s going to make me as uncomfortable and un-peaceful as he needs to regardless of the economic conditions until I once again allow him to have his rightful place as master in my life.

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