WHAT IS FINANCIAL PEACE

I come to you this month in conflict knowing I’m the last person I would think of to speak to you about finances. I am, like us all, broken and humbled by my past, struggling in the present and questioning what the future is. I can tell you from experience what has not worked and the current path my wife Kirstin and I are taking towards better spiritual health. God has given us over 800 scriptures and examples of how to handle finances His way. Matthew 6:24 is as clear as it comes for me “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

 
Generally we live with far more than we need and constantly chase the wants of instant gratification verses the soul’s needs of security and peace. This is not a new idea but just a biblical one. The current economy is bringing much of this much closer than any time before for most of us today. Myself, I have lived with excess and with want. As a teen from a broken family I worked from an early age and know sacrifice, choosing to eat ramen so we could afford to buy basics like a bed, radio, and TV over time so it would feel like a real home like my friends. Don’t get me wrong because I also had seasons with plenty and spent way too much on things that later became nothing but stumbling blocks, clutter and trash in my life.

 
This is not a path to embark on alone; if you’re single find someone you can trust and will support you. If your married or even dating budgets need to be made and agreed on by all parties, it is part of the marriage and relationship between you, your spouse, and God. Without general agreement finances will fail or worse feel like chains of oppression. Earlier in marriage I should have recognized better the strengths God had provided me in my spouse. The greatest lesson I have learned in time, is that providing for Kirstin was really about making her feel financially secure. It’s far more important than any physical possession or gift will ever be. If you want to give your Valentine the year long gift, live the gift of security and freedom, not the fear of the coming credit card statement.
Children in your life are not exempt. They should never feel the strain and challenges we face at times but they are at the perfect age to learn from your example and should be part of the process. If you give money as gifts try teaching them core concepts by giving them the money in 4 parts, 10% as tithe, 30% instant gratification, 30% to save for something larger, 30% long term savings.

Recomended Budget Percentages
Item

Your Actual

Recomended

Charitable Gifts  

10-15%

Saving  

5-10%

Housing  

25-35%

Utilities  

5-10%

Food  

5-15%

Transportation  

10-15%

Clothing  

2-7%

Medical/Health  

5-10%

Personal  

5-10%

Recreation  

5-10%

Debts  

5-10%


There is a Master Plan. The challenge is, are we willing to recognize and work the plan. If you’re willing to follow it, it may not always be easy but it does free us to plant our feet on God’s strong foundation, strengthen our marriages, increase our contributions, and impact our community.

The following table is a quick check-in for your spending trends. See where you fall into the mix and adjust if you feel lead. If you’re interested in finding out more about living with real financial freedom please check out our coming offering of Dave Ramsey’s - Financial Peace University. There is a preview on March 18th @ 6:30pm, and class starts March 25th. We teach people to live like no one else so later they can live like no one else. The average family reduces their debt by $5,300 and saves $2,700 in 91 days.

Chris Wojahn

 
Chart Ref: Dave Ramsey FPU - http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu  


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