We've been at a Dave Ramsey conference for three days. Brian and I sat through three days of teaching, all based on the principals of freedom. This was a "money" conference, but it wasn't about money, really. It was about bondage - which is a weird word - but it suits the idea.
Most of us feel like we're making it if we're making our payments. I feel that way. Financial success means you're getting the bills paid, right?
After this week, I'm wondering if I've settled far too easily, accepted that definition with little push back. Money is important; a good part of my life is focused on getting and using money. But I've not thought too much about how I control it.
Or if it controls me.
I'm not materialistic, really. It isn't difficult for me to be satisfied. I've been in debt, and I've gotten out.
But I confess, I don't have much of a plan. Don't really live with a budget. And though the bills get paid, I'm convinced that there's probably a better way. There are precepts and ideas about money and planning that I've ignored, brushed aside or assumed weren't really applicable to my life.
I was wrong.
I learned a lot over the past few days. Personally, I'm doing some hard thinking about my lack of attention to my financial life - even though there's no apparent problems. I know I can do better.
And as a church leader, the potential is huge. Because as I look around our community, I see so many people who are desperately trying to manage a huge amount of stress that is centered on money. Our spiritual lives are crippled when we are bound up with anxiety about money.
People can't live when they are in bondage to anything.
I am still processing all that I learned this week. However, I am fairly certain of this:
I will never be the same.And I am fairly certain of this as well:
God is nudging us to bring these precepts to PCC in a big way.And here's what I think: You are probably going to hear a lot more about this. And if you get on board, you will never be the same.