Thursday, February 10, 2011

Financial Wisdom and Maturity

The most recent weekend here in Nashville was a productive one for me and Robert. A couple from church gave us two tickets to watch Dave Ramsey Live! in the auditorium downtown.



It was a blessing in every sense. People pay a lot of money to see Dave Ramsey and more money to get a personalized financial makeover from his team. A lot of families can attest to the freedom they have experienced from following his money management principles. It couldn't have come at a better time: we just started permanently living as married couple in the United States. Money is an issue.

There was so much wisdom gained from that 6-hour live show. Dave talked about very practical baby steps in order to get our finances together. Good thing we do not have much debt (I thank the fact that Robert and I lived in a cash-based Philippine economy for years) and that we only currently live on debit cards! We feel so inspired to apply the lessons without feeling a lot of burden.

There was one thing that Dave said that completely captured me. A statement that I felt examines the true motivation of a person's relationship with money and how he spends it.

"Maturity is the ability to delay pleasure."

When I really thought about it, isn't that addiction to instant pleasure that makes us spend money we do not have? Or maybe we do have that money; but it does not necessarily mean God wants us to use it in that manner. How many times have we overlooked asking Him because we want that instant gratification so badly?

That instant pleasure we all feel when we get that newest car, gadget, or shoes the moment it is released in the market. Or travel to that new fancy destination. The desire to be considered 'cool' by letting people know we are the first to own fancy things. Our self-confidence is dependent whether or not we have what our friends have. Or worse, we want to have what our friends don't have so that we can say we were the trend-setter in our own little circles. We go out of our way to acquire things so that we will be envied.

Doesn't it take a more mature and secure person to not want all these things? Isn't it exhilarating to be completely content with everything that God has given us and not covet anything more?

God has been teaching me this since I moved to Nashville barely a month ago. I looked at our empty apartment and it is so easy to make a checklist of what we need. Then that checklist became real funny-looking. Suddenly, the items listed as 'needs' were actually 'wants'.

I threw that list away. Instead,  I asked Him to allow me to enjoy the process of building our home as slowly as possible. I asked for grace in that area and He is faithfully meeting me there every single day.

Today, when I look at our home, I am amazed to see how much we don't really need. I have a great bed to sleep on (which friends thoughtfully gave to us), a pantry stocked with food, a breathtaking view, and an amazing husband who makes me laugh!

Thank You Jesus that You are teaching me how to be mature. Thank You that by asking me to wait, I am learning more and more to be dependent on You and not on myself.

1 comment :

Linda Va'aelua said...

Hey Sam! Love this! We have been learning this lesson ourselves ever since God moved us from NZ to Manila. Especially learning how to live in a cash based society after living in 'debt' back home. I can so relate to setting up a home in a new country and the dilemma of what we 'need' verses what we 'want'. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm also interested now to hear some of Dave Ramsey's thoughts.
Love to you and Rob xxx