Monday, October 27, 2008

A Slave to the Dollar

We all know what the Bible says about being in debt (Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender KJV), but what about those with little to no debt who just have an addiction and/or love of money. We happen to be struggling with this very problem. We are so used to Nate putting in large quantities of overtime and seeing very large paychecks(albeit...paychecks that went straight the lenders) being on the Dave Ramsey plan, that we are now in a place where that money is no longer "needed." Problem is, we THINK we need it. We WANT it, we are ADDICTED to it. It controls us. We have become slaves to the dollar, slaves to the overtime, slaves to money we dont even need. We don't use it to help the homeless or feed the hungry, no, we selfishly lavish ourselves with expensive clothing, designer footwear and underclothing(Victoria's Secret anyone?). We have gone haywire since getting out of debt. We have become the opposite of the frugal people we were during the debt payoff plan. Its like we reverted 10 fold. If Nate is still going to work overtime, why did we bother paying off all that debt. Where in our right minds have we went so wrong? We are only 2 months post debt payoff, but after checking the budget yesterday, I am ashamed to admit we entertained ourselves/bought clothing/ate in restaurants/etc with over 4 thousand dollars in just 2 short months. Yes, you read that correctly, 4 thousand strictly for entertainment and crud we didnt need. Do you have any clue how many hours of work that equates to that my husband would not have had to work had we not lavished ourselves in all these expensively fun vacations, dining out, etc. We have decided to truly quit the overtime and live on his regular salary. There will always be the inherent 4-10 hours per paycheck of overtime that he cant help because he gets stuck coming in a little early or leaving a little late, but the truth is TIME is way more valuable than money. Right now, we work hard all week......both of us(me husbandless makes my job longer and harder). We then play really hard every weekend, just go go go go nonstop to the point of cranky kids and a cranky, arguing Mommy and Daddy. There is no rest in between these long work hours and long weekends jam packed with expensive fun. I can tell you what there is though, mental and physical exhaustion, lack of intimacy in our marriage, stress, and difficult communication as well as half way done discipline on the go. God fell to the wayside, praying became scant at best, keeping the sabbath diminished all along with the true heart of happiness within our family. Fun things cant make up for the real things that are of value in life. The real issue here is time. Time is way more valuable than people realize and I feel it flashing before me this pregnancy. I cant believe I am 15 weeks already. It seems I just gave birth to Kenna a month ago. Its insane to me most days to realize that those little flutters inside me are a whole other life well in the making. I sometimes just plain forget I am pregnant because we are so busy. That isnt good, I dont believe that is what God intended life to be like. Nate's body isnt nourished with proper amounts of sleep or food. Our priorities need to get back in the right place, not so worldly I guess. We want more peace and we know just how to find that peace.....Him, He is the only way for us, but if life is so crowded with everything else, how can one make time to study what He has written for us? How will one make time to pray? To enjoy the blessings one has that money cannot buy?

What the Bible tells us about money

  • Proverbs 21:5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenty; but the thoughts of everyone who is hasty only to poverty. -We are told to be diligent with our spending, not hasty.
  • Luke 14:28-30For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it; lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all those seeing begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish. -This verse makes me think about budgets. A fool would go spending before making a budget first and paying their bills before going and buying Starbucks or a designer purse.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. -We should be saving......umm not something we have been doing lately as we have a lovely way of spending everything by the next payday and never putting a dime aside.

Contentment has lots to do with people thinking they need more money also. These verses speak loud and clear for themselves.

  • Psalms 23:1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:10Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
  • Matthew 6:31-33“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
  • Luke 3:14Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”
  • Philippians 4:11-13For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of eating well or going hungry of facing either plenty of poverty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within me.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:11 And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you
  • 1 Timothy 6:7-10For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
  • Hebrews 13:5Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.

God doesn't have many pleasant things to say about the love of money either.

  • Mark 8:36For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
  • Mark 4:19But the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.


Meagan said...

Thanks for putting a little perspective on this for me! I SO needed to read that. (I'm from the LDS board on BBC, but you may not recognize me... I enjoy your blog, though).

Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

Our church just did a series of sermoms on family finances and God. If you are interested you can go to the website and download the Bridge to Eternity series...

Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

Our church just did a series of sermoms on family finances and God. If you are interested you can go to the website and download the Bridge to Eternity series...

Anonymous said...

Janis, I had this thought when I read the post the first time a few days ago, but was hesitant to post the thought. I don't want you to feel that I am judging because I'm really trying not too, but it just seems that since you left the LDS church that you gave up many of the good things that you and your family were doing. I'm not even talking about re-joining or anything, but I know there were many aspects (not everything) that you liked about the LDS faith...keeping the sabbith, modest dressing, family time, etc. I'm not saying that you don't still like these teachings, but when you announced on this blog that you were leaving, the first thing you and your hubby did was go out to eat and have a drink...on Sunday. I get that the church may not be the right fit for you and I pray that you find what you are looking for, but maybe there are some truths you and your family can hold on too...even not as members. I've only been a member for two years and it can be hard. I admit, I miss having two days to the weekend. :) There seems to always be something to do or do better and I start to feel overwhelmed. But, when I start to think about leaving and going back to a more simple life, I cannot ignore that what I have learned is the truth (to me) and I would miss the gospel. I start to hear the saying, "Where much is given, much is expected." I don't know where your path is going to take you and your family, but I do know that after two years the hard times are getting easier and the fellowship is only growing and I can't picture my life any differently. I hope this extremely LONG comment didn't offend you, I just had to let you know what's been on my mind.
Take care.

lilpeasinmypodfrom~God said...

jdhess, hey, you didnt offend me. My hubby and I actually started keeping the sabbath again as we know what a blessing it is to make ourselves rest. We just came to that realization again recently when we were walking around tired all week lol. We have also been working on other principals and there is some chance we may return to the lds church. We are considering going tomorrow morning:0)

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

I hear ya. I'm trying to convince DH to plan on stopping the overtime once we are out of debt. He says he will keep doing it until we can afford the bigger car, the bigger house, etc. Not that we won't need them. We want more kids and have used all our seatbelts :P. But the TIME. Time is so precious. Anyhow I wanted to throw some more inspiration your way. My favorite talk from General Conference (or at least one of my favorites) Elder Perry spoke on living a simple life so here's the link if you feel like it,5232,23-1-947-2,00.html
-Happylilme from BBC