Monday, December 12, 2011

Financial Peace University Wrap Up

For the last thirteen weeks I have been taking a class with about 250+ other people in our church called Financial Peace University.  After taking the class I wanted to share some thoughts that really stuck out to me about the class, the material and what I learned.  I think something very important to note about this class is that people in our church paid off almost 2 million dollars during the thirteen weeks of this course!

This class has provoked conversation in our church that probably would have never occurred without the class.  I wish I had counted how many couples told me this has improved their personal conversation.  There were people in our church that just never spoke about money and this class has helped people to talk about a topic that was such a taboo.  Its funny to hear about how a class that is so focused on money has helped save marriages in our church just by opening up conversation.

Before I took this class I really could have cared less about credit cards.  I thought they were actually really cool.  I could buy stuff that I wanted today and then pay for it later down the road.  Then I got this credit card that actually gave me free air flights for just spending money on it.  We were getting about four free flights a year with this card and that was pretty cool.  We would use this credit card like a debit card and then pay it off at the end of the month... so I thought.  When Charity and I really started examining our spending on this card we realized that we owed it about $1500.  We made a goal to pay that off and cut the card up.

Cash is pretty fun but when I spend it I get bummed sometimes.  See I learned, when we moved from credit to cash, that it actually makes me think more about the purchase when I use cash to buy it.  We have moved to a strictly cash based system in our family because of this course.  It may be a little more difficult then using a card but we know where our money is going and we are no longer in debt.

Though this course I have seen people get connected to our church.  I have spoken with families who are meeting people and doing life with them now on a weekly basis.  People in our church are getting connected to others in our church through this class.  We had people sit at tables and have discussion about the weekly lesson.  It has been fun seeing people get connected through this course.

If you are going to be in Vegas and want to take this course make sure to check out our next session that begins January 17th 2011

1 comment:

Martin said...

I'm glad you guys took the course. Adriane and I took it about 2 years ago and we speak at the ones in our local area now. After being unemployed for 9 months in Hawaii and moving to Virginia, we accumulated a ton of debt. By the end of 2009 we had over $1 million in debt comprised of:

$540,000 remaining on our house in Hawaii
$400,000 remaining on our home in Virginia
$190,000 remaining on our duplex in Texas
$35,000 remaining on a Honda Odysee Touring
$67,000 remaining on credit cards

Total = $1,232,000 plus various other bills. We were looking at filling bankruptcy and were months behind on the $3,500 mortgage for the Hawaii property.

We attended the class, met weekly at our house with Brian, the course facilitator and certified financial counselor, and got super creative and motivated. We sold so much stuff, became super economical in our daily living, and found a lot of different ways to make extra "snow flake" income.

In January 2011 we found all that remained was our mortgage and became debt free! We still budget every paycheck (every two weeks), save before buying, avoid personal credit cards, do not take loans, and invest heavily toward retirement. As Dave likes to say, we are living like no one else so that one day we might really live like no one else.

All that said, I must give the glory where it is rightly due, to God. While He is the God who created the entire universe and is sovereign over all things, He cared enough about us to allow us to experience such great debt and help us work it out.

I believe anybody can attend Financial Peace University, regenerate or not, and walk away with a new financial perspective and grow amazing wealth, become a rock star philanthropist, and live like no one else. However, none of that gain goes with you when you die.

In Matthew 6:19-21, the Lord Jesus Christ says, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal..."

Everyone dies and faces judgment (Heb 9:27), and according to scripture, all are sinners in the hands of an angry God. I appeal to the reader, you do not know when your life will be required of you or when your judgment hour has been preordained. Do not take lightly that God is full of wrath and hates that which is wicked. He must punish sin, and either Christ's death propitiated God's wrath toward you, or you will one day face it yourself.

Do not think to say that you prayed and asked Jesus into your heart once and so you are a Christian, for the scripture does not teach a methodology such as this. In fact, Matthew 7 teaches the exact opposite... that many will come to Him professing Christ as Lord and He will say to them depart from me, I never knew you.

Do not think to say that you truly believe in your heart that Christ is Lord, for the scripture teaches that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked... your own heart could be falsely assuring you. In Mark 1 when Christ said to repent and believe the gospel, what He literally meant was to continually repent and believe every day of your life. Do you repent daily? Has God truly saved you? If so, what has he saved you from?

If you are striving toward financial peace, I commend your efforts, will pray for you, and help however I can. However, if you either do not profess Christ, or are not absolutely certain you have experienced being born again (and showing signs of that work God has done in you), stop everything you are doing and fall on your face before God. He does not have to save you, He does not need to save you, He may even choose not to save you. Nevertheless, if the Father does not place you in Christ, you will surely face His wrath on your own.