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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Diligence: Excellence Over Time

If I could pick two words to describe the American culture of 60 years ago it would be "hard-working" and "diligence"—two things I think we need a lot more of in today's world. Because if I could pick two words to describe the American culture of today it would be "laziness" and "convenience."

Our culture today has become one of immediacy, self-gratification, and ease. Our advertising campaigns are rife with slogans that make us think we need it bigger, better, faster, sooner, with more convenience, more easiness, more simplicity...
  • Have it your way —Burger King
  • Because I'm worth it —L'Oreal
  • That was easy —Staples
GEICO's slogan from a few years ago, "It's so easy a caveman can do it," implies that if you don't get this insurance than you're dumb, you're behind the times, you're obsolete, you need to get with the modern program. And there are countless other slogans that suggest the same attitude.

Credit card companies suck is into believing that without a credit card we can't do anything...
  • There are some things money can't buy —MasterCard
  • It's all about you —All Hilal Bank
  • Do more —American Express
  • Take the waiting out of wanting —Access
  • What matters most —Chase
    (What's really interesting about this one is if you read it this way: Chase: what matters most.)
Many people who don't have a lot of money are tricked into believing that if they can't walk into Walmart and buy a $1,500 flatscreen TV then they are not as cool as their friends. So they get a Visa card because, according to the commercial, "Life takes Visa."

As with almost anything in this world, this belief that we need to borrow money to live is contrary to Scripture. The Bible is clear that those who are faithful with their money will abound with blessings, but those who hasten to be rich will fall (Proverbs 28:20).

Millionaire Donald Trump once said, "Most people who try to get rich quick end up going broke instead." Granted, this is the same man who once also said, "It really doesn't matter what they say about you as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of a**," but, regardless, he's absolutely right about the first quote.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." —Hebrews 12:11

Thomas Jefferson, one of our most quotable presidents, once said, "If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done."

And that's the way it is with good money management—you've got to be willing to go against the grain of what's popular, step out on a limb, trust in God, and do something you maybe have never done before. And, guess what, it means you're not going to get everything you want right now, today, and with no effort, but that's ok because the best things in life are worth the diligence they require.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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