If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey, check out his website. He wants everyone to be debt-free and take control of their money.
When I started reading this book, I realized Dave was talking to people who have money. Lots of money. Like millions and billions. As I read through the first few pages, I thought that this book wasn’t going to be applicable to me since I don’t happen to be a millionaire or billionaire, in case any of you were wondering! 🙂
Boy, was I wrong! Even though this book is geared to the wealthy, I learned SO much about my attitude towards money and biblical financial principles. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a clear and practical view about what the Bible has to say about money. Dave has such a great way with words that everything just made sense!
1.God is the owner. I am the manager.
Everything in the world belongs to God. I had heard this before, but I never let that truth sink in, especially when it comes to money. Now, every time I spend or receive money, I remind myself that it is God’s, and He wants me to use it wisely. In the past my husband and I prayed about using money wisely every once in awhile, but now we are doing it more often.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
2. Anyone can be wealthy. Anyone can be broke.
Dave wrote about a couple who made $40,000 a year and were debt-free and saving for their kids’ college funds along with saving for their own retirement fund. Then he shared about a couple who made $80,000 and were drowning in debt with no savings. How could someone making twice as much be so bad off financially? The answer: contentment. Dave says, “[Contentment] is the most powerful financial principle there is.”
Since I’m a SAHM right now, I can understand this principle. Making the decision to live on one income was a big step of faith for my husband and me, and God has provided for our needs for the last year and a half. But when I start to look around at others and see their bigger homes, nicer cars, and fancy labeled clothes, sometimes jealousy and discontentment start showing up in my heart.
Contentment is a state of mind that I must choose every day because the truth is we have more than we need. We have vehicles that are paid for, a comfortable home, food on the table, and a closet full of clothes. We have all that we need and more! Check out my tips for living in a small home.
3. Success is a journey, not a destination.
The first time Dave taught his course, Financial Peace, he was prepared for over 100 people to show up, but only 4 people came. He could have given up then, but he didn’t. He kept getting his message out there. Now millions of couples have taken his Financial Peace course, and even though he is a bestselling author and sought-after speaker, he hasn’t stopped!
This was a reminder to me that there is no finish line when it comes to success. As Dave shared in his book, there is only a starting line. We all have to start where we are. Success is using the talents, time, and money the Lord has given us every day of our lives to the best of our abilities.
I love this quote from the book, “Don’t settle for ordinary because we don’t serve an ordinary God! He didn’t create you to be average. He created you to be awesome!”
4. More is caught than taught.
Throughout the book, I was reminded that my money choices don’t only effect myself, they also greatly effect my son and future generations. My son will not only learn about money by what I tell him, but also by what he sees me doing with money. Do I blow money every time I want something new, or do I save it to use on things we need? Am I stingy with my giving, or am I willing to help others and give generously?
The choices that I make today impact the future generations in my family. I want to leave a legacy that makes a difference.
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.
5. Take care of the now, prepare for the future.
I have heard sermon after sermon about how we should be willing to give until it hurts like the poor widow who gave all she had in Luke 12:44. Not only were these sermons wrong, they also twisted scripture. First, the Bible tells us that we are to take care of our household as found in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Then we are to take care of the future. Proverbs 21:20, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”
6. We are created in God’s image to be givers.
God is a giver in so many ways! He gave is only son for my sins. He gives new grace and mercy every morning. He gives comfort to the hurting. He gives us all we need. Since I’m created in His image, I was created to give.
Right now, we are not millionaires, so I won’t be handing over any 6 digit checks! But there are still ways that I can give to those in need whether it be donating items to our church’s homeless shelter, taking a meal to someone, or giving away furniture that we no longer use. Giving should be a normal part of my life.
Dave Ramsey has written several other books one of which is Total Money Make Over where he shares the 7 steps to financial freedom. I would say that book describes the “how” to money. The Legacy Journey shares the “why” to money and is the motivation needed to use money the way God intends.