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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Get Educated About Money and Change Your Life

One of the reasons Dani and I are such proponents for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University is the Depression-era lows of evangelical giving.

Let's face it, our government has really messed things up, and they're not getting any better. Very few people in political office today know how to properly manage money. The only language they speak is debt. Unfortunately this has many Americans feeling very tight-fisted with their money. The recession, rising fuel and food costs, and a political system that appears to be falling apart one seam at a time, has many Christians hesitant to give to their churches.

News reports over the last few years about the percentage of Christians tithing have been scary.

"Giving has declined for four consecutive years," according Empty Tomb, a Christian research group.
"The only other period of prolonged decline in giving per member was from 1928 through 1934, almost entirely during the Great Depression."(Click here to read the report.)

The percentage of evangelicals tithing to their local churches is 2.3%.


I believe there are two reasons for this.

  1. Fear. As mentioned above, many Americans are losing faith in Uncle Sam's ability to take care of them, so they're clinging to their money more than ever before. I don't blame them.

  2. Many Christians—not all, but many—just don't know how to handle money. Our American culture breeds a mind-set that is all about buying more, having more, getting the next best newest shiniest thing on the market, and doing so with credit cards, not hard-earned cash. Americans have become financially stupid. We just don't know how to handle money.

Fortunately it's not all bleak and grim. A 2013 report by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) reveals that charitable giving to more than 1,600 of its accredited organizations has actually increased in the last year—by 6.4 percent, in fact. It's not much, but, hey, it's something.

All of this should bring into sharp focus the need for us to become better stewards of our money. If we get better, and raise children who are better, the next generation of parents, teachers, and political officials will be better. But it has to start now. It has to start with us. You can't wait for a stimulus handout from Uncle Sam. You can't expect to win the lottery. Changing your finances is about changing your behavior, and that starts with getting the right education, be it through Dave Ramsey's course or Crown Financial or any of the other programs that are out there.

The choice starts with you.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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