Today’s money segment is going to highlight some wonderful advice from Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace Revisited” book. This was part of our “homework” this past week for Financial Peace and I’ve added to it. I hope it will be as much of a blessing to you as it has been for us.
– Avoid Stuffitis – the worship of stuff
One of the 10 Commandments is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Another well-known passage is 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
In Exodus, while Moses received the 10 Commandments, the children of Israel were busy making a golden calf they could worship. They liked stuff – note it wasn’t a cheap wooden calf – they wanted bigger and better! One major problem area I have been confronted with lately is the area of “gods.” A god, or image, is anything that we look to that replaces our God from His rightful place. Sometimes, this image can take forms we don’t even ponder. In being perfectly honest and open, I’d like to share some “image gods” below that I struggle with at times. I would encourage you to ponder your heart, motive, and mind and see if you, too, may have any gods you must de-throne…
– The god of beauty – this is where it all started… I’d like to lose a few pounds, I’d like to fit into my jeans better, I’d like to be able to eat what I’d like to eat. Well, frankly that will never happen. In the same way that I will never be able to spend all the money I want to spend, no matter how financially free I am, I will never be able to eat all the food I’d like to eat. Creating a “god” of food/weight management/body image is a sin.
– The god of financial freedom – so, Ryan and I are following a financial plan. What if we do happen to sacrifice, save, and plan and become millionaires? While God calls us to be financially responsible (remember the parable from last week?) He also calls us to place Him at the top of our goals, our priorities, and our money.
– The god of stuff – we all want a cool car, the ability to dine out whenever we want to, and a nice house? but at what cost? God has called us to glorify Him first. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… creating a god of wanting stuff is idolatry. This can even be in the little things… that “I just HAVE to have that type of food, makeup, hair care, or picture frame” feeling…
So, why do we save? Why are we financially responsible?
For Ryan and me, our decision to save centers around our decision to give. Another personal confession… what prompted us to really begin looking at finances was one Sunday headed to church. The day before payday, our savings, bills, and dining out expenses had been paid but we had yet to give. On the way to church, Ryan said, “wanna run by the bank and get the offering?” “Ha!” I said, “Not sure where it’ll come from!” That was a turning point. The realization that if we had seen a hurting brother or sister we couldn’t offer a mere $50 made us realize that our decision to save had to go deeper than our desire to be millionaires or our desire to be “financially free.” Our decision to save had to be wrapped up and wound tightly with our decision to be good stewards of what God has given us.