Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (NIV)
A few years ago I met a long lost uncle. As soon as I met him, he start giving financial advice. This guy had some nerve barging into our home and telling us stories about how to handle our money! He used terms like “debt snowball” and “baby steps.” Didn’t this guy know we like the quick and easy route in America? Uncle Dave was telling us to handle money the way God and your grandmother would. He was telling us to actually pay for things and never borrow money again. He was out of his mind.
Dave Ramsey was one of many God chose to put in our path since 2014. For those who don’t know him, I would invite you to open your heart and listen to his advice about money. Money is one topic that can divide households and send others running for cover. Yet, through the nearly 2,350 verses in the Bible that discuss money and possessions, the Lord has given us guidance on how to manage His resources here on Earth. Money is an important topic for anyone and we should tune in to what He has to say.
How does talking about money connect with our move to Africa? One of the first questions on our application with Africa Inland Mission was: Do you have debt? At the time, we had been working the baby steps Uncle Dave talks about for a few years and our only debt was our house payment. The baby steps helped us create discipline in our life and allowed us to appropriately guide the money God graciously placed in our hands. If you do these steps, they will produce results for you too. You may have to break old spending habits, but through it all you can change your financial future for generations.
By this point I’m sure your questioning why a missionary is giving you financial advice.
Beth and I knew we had to be financially stable to move to Africa. We committed to the baby steps and saw amazing things happen in our life. We still gave the first 10% of our income back to God each paycheck and God has done more with remaining 90% than we ever did with 100%. After we sold our home, for the first time in our adult lives we had ZERO debt. Without this weight, we can fully commit to what God has called us to do. We actually never owned our home…Wells Fargo did. Over the years, we’ve paid off cars and students loans, bought a car with cash, invested, started college savings plans, and have felt a peace like we never have before.
The only way this worked as a couple was that we committed to the process together. We stopped using credit cards together, had budget meetings together, and had decent talks about money together. Now, we can step into the calling God has for our family together. It’s never too late to change your family’s financial tree. You will have to take baby steps and it might not be fun for a while. You will have to change spending habits, but your heart will begin to change. You will learn to pay for things and not overspend. You will live like no one else so later you can live like no one else. Thanks to God and Uncle Dave, WE’RE DEBT FREE!