I’m laying out my vision for our church across several posts. There are eight pieces to it. Here is the first one:
I envision families living without debt and changing their community by giving generously through the church and saving generously for the future.
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. … A generous person will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:7-9
This one is especially close to me because I can’t remember anyone teaching me biblical financial principles in a systematic way. Now don’t get me wrong: My parents were clear that we give to God off the top and that we should save money for big items or vacation spending.
But nothing compares to the teaching that Saralynn’s sister introduced us to 4-5 years ago: Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University (FPU). This thirteen-week course covers everything from the basics of saving and budgeting to retirement, insurance, and buying only big, big bargains. And let’s not forget what made Dave famous: getting and staying out of debt.
Our family has come out of $55,000 in debt since our first time through FPU. For a long time, financially I was worth more dead than alive. How? I had a huge negative net worth (I owed more than I owned) and good life insurance.
Solomon said, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). That’s what I want to do. I want my children and their families to handle money so well that when I die, nobody needs it, and I can just give it away.
I want my retirement savings to be paying me more in retirement than I will get working, so that I can give it away to organizations and people so that it can multiply itself and God will be honored!
And I want the same for you. But you can’t do it while you’re paying off creditors and car loans. Get out of debt. Stay out of debt. Work for your pay, and pay for your purchases. Remember that it’s all God’s. Give to him off the top, and give more out of your surplus (which you’ll have when you’re not in debt).