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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Confronting the Biggest Obstacle Toward Financial Peace: Yourself

Sometimes the biggest obstacle is you
We have successfully completed leading the first session of Financial Peace University, a nine-session money management program by financial guru Dave Ramsey. I'm pleased to report that both Dani and I came out alive.

It was so exciting to walk through the doors and see all the FPU kits set up—about 30 of them—each one containing a bundle of potential, so much hope. It felt great to be leading a class designed to help people break free from their financial burdens.

It was tough, though, knowing that there would be some people who would squander that potential. Dani and I know from experience that this is hard work. For most people, going through FPU means making significant changes to how you live and how you view money.

It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own personal financial problems that we forget that everything we have is actually God's. When that happens we lose sight of what's important. How differently would we live if we could remember that God owns it all, that we are simply stewards? How differently would we handle money? I think that managing your finances properly can be a big part of your Christian walk. Maybe you'll never be rich, but you can follow biblical principles of handling money that will create an awesome testimony for Christ.

In his book the Complete Guide to Money, Dave Ramsey talks about the "pain of change." Even when it comes to that first baby step—getting $1,000 in the bank—for some people it feels like such an impossibility that they quit before they even begin. They're too afraid to look in the mirror and ask themselves: "Am I done living the way I've been living?" "Am I willing to sacrifice to win?"

And then Dave drops this bomb: "When I tell people the first thing they need to do is put $1,000 in the bank and not touch it, it can be a deal-breaker. It requires you to look in the mirror and say, 'You're the problem.'"

And that's hard to do. I know, because I did it once. Both Dani and I had to do it. We both had to realize that there were ways in which we handled money that simply were not working. It's only when we got honest with ourselves that real change begins to happen.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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