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Finding Financial Peace

By Ryan Loos, Dave Ramsey Certified Financial Counselor, www.rklfinancial.com

In today’s economy, how can we experience true financial peace? Many of us have lost homes, jobs, and retirement funds, while others may be behind on specific payments and uncertain as to how to handle the persistent calls from their creditors. In this time of economic crisis, it is crucial for us to remember that we have hope through Jesus Christ. Not only in the eternal scheme of things, but Christ is alive and present with us even in our current circumstance. By His Holy Spirit we can gain wisdom and be empowered to live above the cultural norm—to live debt free!

In the book of 2 Peter, Peter emphasizes the importance of gaining knowledge in Christ for the purpose of detecting the deceit of the false teachers. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with media influences that can easily sway us from God’s truths regarding our finances.

The Bible says, “Your ENEMY the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”(1 Peter 5:8). The salesmen, debt-relief agencies, and creditors in secular America today are trained to entice and convince us that we are in desperate need of their so-called life & money-saving products and/or plans.

The captions in the advertisements promise guilt–free purchasing by offering zero percent financing, with no money down and no interest, for six months. The creditors promise lower interest rates and great rewards for purchases made on their company’s credit card. And let’s not forget the corporate ladder that promises years of financial prosperity for those who are willing to forgo family, friends and the Church for the cause of the company.

What all of these companies fail to tell you is that 79% of consumers never pay off the 0% loan on time. What they don’t tell you is that the average balance per credit card-holding household is $9,300. To top it all off they certainly do not tell you that according to the Wall Street Journal nearly 70% of all consumers live from paycheck to paycheck.
     
For years I thought that I could use a credit card, pay-off the balance in full each month, and reap the credit card rewards of air miles, cash back, or money down towards a new vehicle. While we were able to pay-off the balance each month my wife and I calculated that we were spending approximately $300 more than we needed to spend a month simply because it was easier to swipe a card than hand out cash. No credit card reward ever added up or even came close to the $300 a month that we are saving, now that we are operating on a budget and only using cash.

Furthermore, years ago, I was that accountant, earnestly seeking to climb the corporate ladder and leave my mark in this world. I traveled and worked countless hours to prove that I was deserving of promotions and special perks, but unfortunately, this was at the expense of my family.  My wife and I felt so distant from each other and I missed months with my first child, who needed a father’s influence just as much as she needed her mother.

I believe wholeheartedly that the foundation for experiencing true financial peace begins with the understanding that everything we have, including our income, is from the Lord. The Bible says in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” When we allow God to plant this truth in our hearts He begins to transform our lives in such a way that we no longer spend for ourselves, but we begin to realize the importance of tithing, meeting our family’s needs (spiritually, emotionally and financially) and saving for our family’s future.

True financial peace comes when we know we are giving, saving and spending as Christ would have us do.

I encourage you to go against the grain! Make the decision today to give your finances over to the Lord! Change your spending habits and find someone to help hold you accountable. Husbands and wives, work at managing your finances together, so that there are no surprises. Continue to seek God in all things and He will give you financial peace beyond all measure!