First of all, I am not one to proclaim my finances around the world, but I have realized in the last 6 months or so that finances play a big part in faith. As this blog is meant to encourage others in faith (among other things), I think that finances should play a part in it.
In July 2011, my husband and I started watching Jim Sammon’s Financial Freedom Seminar. It has been life changing for us, and we are almost finished with it. We have learned a few very important lessons from this Bible- based seminar, including:
-No debt is good debt, as it is wasteful, presumptuous of God’s future provision, and can lead us to live well above our means.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another. Roman 13:8.
-Our finances are just one tool of a multitude that God uses to shape us, and financial trouble can be a sign that we need to examine our lives for sin or separation from God’s will.
-We should pray for the things we need and wait on the Lord to help us make wise financial decisions. Sometimes what you are hoping to buy will fall into your lap! I prayed for a new printer (I know, that seems a little stupid, especially since I had money in my bank account to go buy one), as I was trying to follow what the seminar taught me. One week later, my stepmom gave me a beautiful, nearly new, very expensive laser printer that her work was getting rid of. If I’d bought one, I would have wasted my money!
-Tithe the first fruits of your labor. Simple obedience can bring so many rewards.
There are so many other lessons I could tell you, but I hope you will check this seminar out for yourself. It has really helped put my husband and me on the same page financially and bring us closer to God in the meantime.
That said, I have a good deal of debt. In March my husband and I bought a new car for me, as my car was dying. The $17,000 car loan didn’t seem that bad, especially when it was expressed as $300 per month. This debt was in addition to $5,000 in credit card debt and $60,000 in student loan debt.
This financial seminar scared us a bit because the little debt we thought we had all of a sudden seemed like a mountain. You mean we are supposed to get out of debt as fast as we can and not accumulate any more debt ever again?!? We prayed to God for his guidance, and soon realized what was right… we had to dig ourselves out.
Another thing we learned from this financial seminar: God blesses the direction you are going if it is towards him. Right before I started this blog, we started aggressively going after our debt. We put together a budget and cut spending wherever we could.
So here I am hoping to give you a progress report! We prayed daily for God’s blessing and provision to help us get out of debt, and let me tell you, the blessings just kept rolling in. Through bonuses, generous wedding gifts, lots of overtime hours, and frugal living, my husband and I have been able to pay off the credit card debt completely, and as of today, we have paid off the car. We saved thousands in interest by getting rid of the debt as fast as we could.
Our goal for 2012 is to pay off half of the student loans. This will be difficult, as we do not make a ton of money and we don’t know if God will bless us with children this year (which will greatly change our financial landscape).
I am not sharing this to brag, but rather to encourage you to try to get out of your own debt. I do not believe that God meant for us to live beyond his provisions, and I hope that you will realize that if I can do it, you can too! It has been difficult, but the mountain is slowly getting smaller.
Here’s to financial freedom!