i promise i don't hate dave ramsey

I didn’t mean for yesterday’s post to turn into a battle between Dave Ramsey’s Adoring Fans and his Cautious Skeptics, but alas. So, why not just drag out the discussion for one more day, eh?

I won’t repeat everything that was said in the comments. Read the thread here if you’d like. And I’m not going to think through what I write so much as just let it all out. Won’t that be fun?

Here’s the deal. Gabe and I have some debt that we’d love to get rid of (and we’re working toward that end). But what will our next step be after that? Save enough money so that we can be comfortable come what may? Or lay everything on the line and adopt a sense of urgency because the poor are all around us, and Jesus has commanded us to care for them?

Do I have the logistics of this all figured out? No. Do I think there’s one right way to do this thing? No. But, the older I get, the more squeamish I get when I hear about people spending lots of money on themselves while people around the world have NOTHING.

I do see the importance of having an “emergency fund,” I really do. But honestly? I don’t want a “cushion.” I want God to be my cushion. And without being judgmental, but just realizing my own human, controlling tendencies, I know how tempting it is to want my bases covered JUST IN CASE. I don’t ever want to be in a position where I might have to–gasp!–trust God fully and completely to provide for me. I want to be my own savior.

I’m telling you, it’s hard to spend time in a developing country like Cambodia and not get your world rocked. These people live hand to mouth, minute to minute. Some do okay, some don’t. Some live, some don’t. But there is such a HUGE gap between what they’re able to be content with and what I’m “able” to be content with. I don’t like that gap.

A book by “another Dave” (David Platt) took my breath away last year, and I’ve never really gotten it back. I just cringe at anything that smacks of the American Dream, of pursuing a comfortable, happy life.

Lots more thoughts wreaking havoc in my brain, but I feel compelled to shush for now. It’s not like I’ve solved anything in the last 400 words anyway.

And besides, I know you’ve been waiting on PINS AND NEEDLES for this video (if you haven’t already seen it on Facebook). So without further ado… I “proudly” present…

The Taviano Family Purpose Statement Jingle-Style!

Gabe: I can’t believe you talked me into that, Marla.

Have a great Thursday, friends!

p.s. In the interest of full disclosure, I just reserved 6 of Dave Ramsey’s “Must-Reads” at the library (including 2 written by Dave himself). See? Not a hater. πŸ™‚

140 thoughts on “i promise i don't hate dave ramsey

  1. missy @ it's almost naptime

    Oh, my precious friend.

    Don’t you love it when perfect strangers come out of the woodwork to tell you what a horrible person you are? I know I do. I just love it when people I’ve never met feel compelled to criticize me for, you know, adopting kids from Africa and stuff. Since they know my heart and all that.

    I just think that they are in training to be the world’s worst mothers-in-law. Seriously. I pray for every one of their daughters-in-law. Those poor girls are gonna needs all kinds of prayer.

    I adore you. I adore your heart. And I think you should have kept the Nook because you need it. But even if you didn’t need it, it would still be okay.

    And you know what? We are adopting a baby from Ethiopia, and we just bought a 55″ LED TV. It was the deal of the century, but it was still a lot of money. And I could give everyone the back story about how we made this particular financial decision, but I’m not gonna. You know why?

    BECAUSE IT’S NOBODY’S STINKIN BUSINESS BUT MINE AND MY HUSBAND’S.

    And if anyone wants to judge me, they are welcome to. Because it is always way easier to judge others. Keeps us from answering to the Holy Spirit for our own sin, that’s for sure. But I don’t answer to anyone but the big him I worship and the little him I sleep with.

    And neither. Do. You.

    Not that what I think of you matters, but, I think you rock some serious casbah.

    xo

      1. lauren johnson

        Love your post…i totally agree and you just had me cracking up on a particularly trying morning! πŸ™‚ thanks missy!

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  3. Beth in the City

    I can’t even begin to read all of this! Go Marla! I love your humility in responding to some critics.

    I live in the city. I live about 2.5 miles from my church, which is in the inner city. When the Ugandan Orphans Choir came to sing, they were amazed to find someplace like Uganda in our country – it was our church’s neighborhood. However, my neighborhood is pretty stinkin’ nice in comparison and when I invite kids over from “there” I feel kind of bad. I have all this….and they can’t even catch a ride to get a job without spending maybe an hour on a bus. Then when we go somewhere in the county our house look small and our cars look junky.

    So, there’s always somebody somewhere who has something we want and there’s always somebody somewhere giving up something we can’t imagine giving up and I’m really impressed that you are willing to dig deep and decide what God might want YOU to give up.
    (Apparently it was not that e-reader, huh?)

    Hugs to you and yours Marla – you make us THINK! (If God was a cookie cutter God who made cookie cutter people with cookie cutter incomes…………there would be no giraffes, now would there?)

  4. Leigh

    Whoa, friend! Had no idea all this was going down on your blog today- or yesterday for that matter. Reading Radical changed my perspective about money too so I hear your heart in this. Not everyone is willing to be so bold and to live so dependently. I’m not even sure I am though I’ve been taking a hard look at my finances this year to figure out how to pay off my student loan and set a lifestyle cap. I’m cheering you on!!!

  5. Amy

    It’s easy to have this discussion deteriorate into nit-picking over specific purchases or how well someone may or may not be preparing for the future, but that really misses the point of the heart of this.

    The real question is this- What is our attitude toward our money and possessions? Are we seeking to honor the Lord and asking Him what His thoughts are on how we should be spending our money? What if we had a serious honest prayer session with the Lord and were willing to have our hearts changed? What if we said, “I might be wrong on this. I need your guidance, Lord.”?

    You might be surprised at the answer.

  6. Bryn

    I am simply impressed by your ability to respond to both sides of the debate with such grace! I’m a college student but find your blog lovely despite the occasional lack of revelance. πŸ™‚ You write beautifully!

  7. Kelly S

    Marla,

    Thanks so much for your thoughts… thanks for the thoughtful comments you’ve left in response to others’ comments, too.

    I find myself having a lot of the same thoughts stirring in my head and heart, too. I think reading Radical through the read-a-long has been a tool God has been using to stir up my heart. I’m leading a study on Radical right now at my church, and I think the chapter on “American wealth and a world of poverty” is the one sticking with me the most as I read it over again.

    I’ve never followed Dave Ramsey, but I do have a book on hold from the library (I think I’m 10th in line though, so it might awhile!) However, I’ve looked at his basic points and have had similar feelings: the debt reduction stuff seems great! But, it sure seems to be a lot more “American dream finance plan” than “the Holy Spirit breathing into how we handle money.”

    One word that comes to mind as I think about all this (it’s been on my mind a lot in the past few months!), and as I read your post and comments today is “insidious.” Satan’s work is so stealthy and creeps into every part of our lives, including how we handle money. In our culture, we’ve been raised with this “American dream hand-in-hand with Christian faith” mentality.

    I hate that, because I don’t feel like I got to choose what to believe… it’s just the way our society operates. I didn’t have someone say, “Okay, Kelly, you’re opening your first bank account. Here are your two options as a follower of Jesus:

    1. Operate the way the rest of the secular world does and save money, take care of your own needs, and then care for others as possible. OR

    2. Follow the commands of Jesus, including give generously, sell all your possessions, don’t store up treasures in heaven, and don’t worry about tomorrow – God will take care of you. Now, which will you choose?”

    I sure wish I would have gotten that choice, because it would have been a lot easier back then vs. now, when I’ve been functioning with the mindset of option one when I really want a mindset more like option two!

    We’ve been meeting with a financial planner lately who is a good guy and understands our desires to give generously. However, going to those meetings has sure made it sound convincing to save up for the future! One of my summer goals is to write out lots of thoughts on financial planning and budgets and all that stuff. I want to have it down on paper and then be able to “lay it out before the Lord” (like Hezekiah did in Isaiah 37:14) and ask Him to do what He will.

    Right now, we find ourselves in the midst of some of the same steps as your family:

    1. Trying to live as frugally as possible so we can give generously. There is an ebb and flow to this… we do pretty well with giving up eating out, avoiding expensive entertainment, buying clothes, etc… but then there are periods where we seem to fall apart… and it’s never enough. Sure, we don’t pay for cable tv, but we still pay for internet and netflix – it’s hard to know where to draw the line!

    2. Considering what to do about:
    – savings (emergency fund AND retirement)
    – life insurance

    Finally, two more thoughts – sorry this turned into such a long comment!

    – I saw a quote the other day that’s either by Mother Teresa or St. Elizabeth of Seton, or maybe someone else altogether (google is not very conclusive on this): “live simply so that others may simply live.”

    – I think your kids are pretty blessed to have you and Gabe as parents. When I think about how I feel like this “accumulate wealth” mindset was just insidiously brought into my life as I grew up… I love that your kids aren’t going to grow up with that mindset. They’ll have stories of God’s provision: for Cambodia, for life, for serving and loving others. That is super cool!

    Thanks, Marla! You are great! I really love your honesty and transparency! Go get some rest – I am sure this has been a draining day of reading all this discussion!! πŸ™‚

  8. Jen Hanson

    Since you have a ton of comments to wade through (hang in there!) – I’ll be brief.

    I started reading through some of the responses today and got a bit overwhelmed by so many differing and strong options. I’ll just pipe in with what I said on my blog post today about FPU: In the end, each individual will be held accountable for how they handled the money God gave them. So we each had better be darn sure that we are handling it in a way that will bring us a “well done.” This is a great discussion to have and something important to think/pray/talk about- but it comes down to the fact that we each have to make our own decision on how to handle our money and will have to live with that decision for eternity.

    1. Jen Hanson

      I should have said: how to handle “our” money – because we only have what God has allowed us to have, so it really isn’t ours anyways.

      Which brings up the question: For what purpose has God allowed me to have the amount of money we I have?

  9. Marla Taviano

    I just had a friend and her kiddos over for chatting and lunch for 3 hours, so I’m going to take a deep breath, say a prayer, and start reading through the onslaught.

  10. Carrie

    Ok, wow! First off I just have to say I have lots of respect for you for 2 reasons. Number 1: because there are a lot of comments here and the fact that you take the time to read and respond amazes me, I couldn’t read through more than a couple before my eyes got blurry and I got really tired of reading. Number 2: because you are very brave to put your opinion out there and able to take in whatever criticism comes your way and you handle it gracefully.

    So as far as my opinion on this post goes, I’m not really going to put it out there just because it seems some where among the many posts, someone has pretty much said everything I would have. But one thing I will say is when it comes to people having pricey items in life, you never know how they acquired it whether it was from “spending money on themselves” or it came as gifts etc. My point is I have known some people in my life to have some amazing pricey luxuries and one family in particular I look at the luxuries they have been able to purchase themselves as blessings from God because I have never seen a husband/wife team like this couple along with their two children give so much of their time to spread the gospel and minister to middle schoolers/teenagers through their ministry. Everything that they own they use in a way to share with these teens and families (their home they open up every week to them for bible study, their flat screen tv they let them come over to watch the game and fellowship with them, their huge pricey suv that they offer to drive those kids to church in or to pack everyone up to go see the highschool lacross game to cheer them on, etc). So in response about another person’s comments about your recent purchase of a Nook, the Lord blesses us in different ways whether it be monetary or not. I’ve made the mistake of judging others by the money they spend/possessions they have, and I try not to do that now because we don’t know every little detail in someone’s life like the what they given or have sacrificed.

    This ended up being much longer than I had planned but hopefully it coherent πŸ™‚

    Totally keep going in whatever direction the Lord is telling you no matter what others say!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks, Carrie. I didn’t really say much to the person who questioned my Nook acquisition, but I know that my husband looked at it as a no-brainer tax-deductible business expense. I’m an author. I just wrote an e-book. There are hopefully many more in my future. To not have a device for reading e-books was preposterous to him. He kind of makes a good point.

      1. Katie

        I don’t disagree with that, but I don’t have a specified e-reader either, and I can read e-books other way. I don’t think buying an e-reader is a bad thing at all. The expense just seems…contradictory (?) to me.

      2. Victoria

        No offense, but that is just like saying “I’m a fashion lover, so it’s preposterous for me not to have a Louis Vuitton handbag.” I guess it just seems like you rationalize anything that anyone questions you on. Ebooks can be read in PDF format to anyone with a computer.

        1. Rebekah Gambrell

          yeah but computers are even more expensive than a nook and you don’t need a computer to write a book…. people are giving away their typewriters now for free. How dare you have a computer when you could go to the library and use one to write your book on.

          1. Victoria

            Where’s my hug? πŸ™‚

            The fact of the matter is, we all have more than we deserve or need, but when one is so publicly against frivolous items, then goes out and purchases one (yes, Gabe bought it, but the whole family went to the store together). This is not only sending your readers, but your daughters, a contradictory message.

          2. Rebekah Gambrell

            so in order to be against frivolous items then we have to live like vagabonds? Where is the bar? Where do YOU set it? I set mine differently than someone else. I fit everything I owned in 6 duffel bags. Maybe that is too many? We had a laptop then …. maybe that was over the top because that was an expensive item. I don’t think I was sending my children a contradictory message. My oldest daughter is the most giving person I know, only because she has seen how we give and knows that we would give up everything. I don’t write books but I can understand that buying a piece of technology can help one. Computers are not a necessity of life but they help us communicate with the world. For Marla I could see the help of having a nook. For me … no thanks…. for me it would be a waste of money…. I do have things that make my life easier though and I have lived without. I believe we are all learning and we can always do more to serve others. I believe that I am not perfect but that we have to start somewhere.

          3. Marla Taviano

            There’s so much more to the story, but honestly, I don’t feel like sharing it with you right now. I will say this. My eyes were red in that photo because I spent a good deal of time crying before we went. I didn’t want an e-reader, and I begged him not to buy me one. But I never let my husband buy me anything, and he wanted to show me his love. So I let him.

            And as for the claim that it was unnecessary and frivolous? Not true. Formatting a Word document into an e-book is a nightmare, and we needed to see if my book was formatted correctly for an e-reader before I made it public. There’s no way to tell that except to put it on an e-reader. You have no idea how many hours and hours Gabe worked to create my e-book.

            This is where your fashion lover analogy falls short. I’m an author. This is my job. A Nook is directly related to what I do for a living. Fashion lover is not a job.

            Not sure who you are or why you hate me, but sure, I’ll give you a hug.

          4. Carrie

            I don’t really want to jump on the whole argument train but in Marla’s defense, if you’re going to write an e-book it is kind of essential to have an e-book reader. Reading the PDF format on a computer is not same, you need to see how it displays on an e-book reader. It seems more like a contradictory message for an author to write an e-book and promote it without having an e-book reader themselves. You can’t expect someone to buy your product when you yourself aren’t willing to buy it. Again, not trying to argue with anyone, just wanted to bring that up in case no one thought of that.

        2. Rebecca

          That analogy actually doesn’t prove your point. Marla wrote the book itself, she’s not just appreciating books in general.

          Either way, Marla, I think the work you’re doing is great, and if your husband sees fit to love you by giving you a Nook, that’s wonderful, and it’s not anyone else’s place to judge.

          I am praying for you and your family and your upcoming trip to Cambodia!

  11. Amie

    It seems to me that there is a balance that must be struck on both sides of this argument. Of course we are instructed to give willingly and generously to others and indeed in America our views on wants vs needs are incredibly skewed.

    However, to imply as someone has that they need not plan for their own future as they will “bless” someone else with the opportunity to provide for them is nonsensical. I completely trust God to keep my children safe in the car but I still make sure they are strapped into their carseats. And what if there ever was an accident and they were injured because I did not take this precaution? Does this mean that he did not provide even when I was trusting him to do so? God has given us instructions to be givers and good stewards.
    To some giving up luxuries closest to their heart to feed the poor may mean forgoing cable or their love of shopping or eating out…or buying a second car even if they would have used it for ministry…for others it may mean to forgo buying expensive plane tickets for their entire family to go abroad to see the world and serve for a couple of weeks and sending those thousands directly to the starving children for food.

    1. Mandy

      Not sure if this was a response to my comment, but I definitely didn’t mean to imply that a person should not provide for their own household. Or that I should spend or give so much that I would need other people to help me out (not that there is much danger of me giving too much). What I did mean is that the planning for the future that some people prescribe involves saving significant amounts of money for retirement, college for the kids, life insurance, disability insurance and the like. Many of these things are not needs, but wants. After looking at our budget, reading about giving and caring for the poor in the Bible (esp. in 2 Corinthians 8-9 and in the gospels), and seeking God’s will for our family on the matter, I (and my husband) am becoming more and more convinced that God will provide what we need when we need it and that giving is more important that making sure that we have life insurance or a larger savings account.

      I do agree that recklessly wasting my money and expecting others to help me is poor stewardship. But I also believe that not giving to others and saving large amounts of money because I am worried about eventually being a burden or because I want to live a certain way in the future is wrong for me. And that not letting people give to me because God is directing them to is prideful. And that to be in a tight place financially and not seek help from brothers and sisters in Christ is wrong. The body is a family and giving to each other is a good thing. Now I might have extra, so I give to someone who needs it. Later I might be in want, and another might share their extra with me. I hope that clarifies. If it doesn’t, well, we’re all better off going to the Scriptures anyway, as I’m sure you know. And even if you weren’t responding to me, thanks for getting me thinking more about these things. I totally agree that each person must seek God on where to give and how much as well as on how to steward the money he’s placed in their care. And I don’t judge people for getting life insurance or disability if that is where God directs them. My parents purchased disability insurance and later my dad became disabled. It seems to me that God provided for them through that.

  12. Michele

    wow…you sure know how to get a discussion party going, don’t you?! LOL

    I’m opinionated AND red headed so I probably need to keep my mouth shut, but I’m going to just give my personal experience …nobody can freak out on what my testimony, can they? πŸ™‚ umm…that’s tongue firmly planted in my cheek since hubby has been in vocational ministry for 20 years and I know that’s not true!!

    Anyhoo…the shortest version of my story I can give about DR is this: I had wonderful Godly parents and my late dad’s spiritual gifts were evangelism and giving. He left a great Godly legacy as far as that goes, but when he died he left a bad financial legacy to his family. My mom who is still living is painfully having to deal with that on a daily basis. My mom wasn’t much better growing up on her financial legacy to me…hiding purchases with credit cards and hiding credit card statements from my dad. yep…dysfunction city.

    Fast forward to living at home until I got married 2 weeks after my 21st birthday. We walked into marriage with no debt. Roughly 8 years ago my hubby moved from youth ministry to his 1st senior pastor position…we had a baby, over 10 grand in credit card debt, 2 car loans, a student loan and a mortgage…and a marriage that was fragile at best – mostly stress regarding debt. We’ve headed up mission trips and worked in extreme poverty in Mexico…fed homeless people living at the city dump…prayed over mothers and babies dying because they couldn’t afford care…worked in orphanages that barely had food to feed the kids and children walking around with no shoes in feces. Trust me…I get what you’re saying (felt like I needed to qualify my upcoming statements).

    Back to 8 years ago…because we were so financially wise πŸ™‚ we decided to facilitate an FPU class at our church and reach out to the community by providing something practical. Bottom line: God used this to heal our marriage! We learned how to budget and get a plan for getting out of debt. We are now celebrating 19 years of marriage next month, have 2 boys and adopting a daughter from China. We could never have done this in the shape that we were in. Fundraising has been tight, but because we have money in savings from working the FPU plan…we will use that for any shortfall we may have by the time we travel.

    Did DR save us? NO! But God used him and his methodology in our marriage and lives. I’ve actually met DR in person…ate lunch with him and about 12 other people a few years ago. I think his “live like no one else” mantra is simply a reflection of our culture of living off credit. I believe he means to live like no one else (rice and beans, etc) to get out of debt so that you can live like no one else is living (living off credit cards)…not to live extravagantly.

    Do I think that his methods are earth shatteringly new? NO…this is just practical stuff our grandparents did during the depression. I think DR would tell you the same. I believe that he just wants to make a difference in people’s lives in a positive way and change the way our culture thinks. He did in our family. I’m grateful that we’re breaking the cycle for our children. It may not be for everyone – he’s extremely blunt and sometimes obnoxious, but it worked for my family and because of that I’m probably a little too defensive.

    James 1:27 defines true religion…for us God called us to adoption…for someone else it might mean giving funds to someone else to do it…for others it may mean going…whatever it looks like for you…if God is calling you to do it then do it for heaven’s sake! Ironically my dad always said, “plan for the future, but live like Christ could come back today” (I guess it was do as I say and not as I do?). Ok…that was way too long and I’m sorry, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks for sharing that, Michele. In all honesty, I don’t think this whole thing is about Dave Ramsey so much as how do I view my money? As my own or God’s? It sounds like you and your husband are following him very closely.

      1. Michele

        We’re following GOD very closely…and use DR’s principles along the way but ONLY when they apply and/or don’t go against what God has told us to do with the money He has entrusted to us…which is less since we decided to plant a church. LOL

        Love you heart and agree with it!

        1. Marla Taviano

          I meant God when I said “him.” I should’ve been more clear. I used to capitalize “Him” when I meant God, but it’s not that way in the Bible, so I stopped. πŸ™‚

  13. Jonna

    I have a couple thoughts: both my parents and my husband’s parents have no retirement accounts and plenty of debt. It is well established (i.e., they’ve told us) that they will need us & the rest of the family to take care of them in the next 10-15 years. Growing up, we both came from homes that lived right about at the poverty line (by American standards). Coming from homes like this, understanding that we don’t have family to fall back on if we need something/lose a job/etc., and knowing that we will be supporting both families financially in the near future has really shaped the way that we approach finances. Not only is it important that we get out of debt (we’re down to just student loans & a mortgage!) but that we also have an emergency fund because our families rely on US for their emergency funds. Sometimes the mission field can be family and in our case that’s a big chunk of it!

    1. Brooke

      Dear Lord,

      Please be with Jonna right now and give her guideance. Show her how she can honor you through taking care of her family. Lead her to save, give, or whatever you would have her to do with your blessings.

      Help her to always feel your love.

      Amen

  14. Rosanne

    To me this is just not an either/or proposition. I struggle a lot with anxiety over doing the right thing. The thing is the right thing is different depending on what you read and who you listen to. Personally, I feel that this whole thing can take a rather ugly legalistic turn if we all don’t remember one thing – seek God’s wisdom in ALL things. That means, when I get my tax return, I pray about what GOD would like me to do about it – not Dave Ramsey OR Dave Platt. That means that sometimes, God will ask you to save it and other times God will ask you to give it. If you are listening to what HE wants and then doing it, the whole debate becomes moot. πŸ™‚

    1. Jennifer

      “This whole thing can take a rather ugly legalistic turn if we all don’t remember one thing — seek God’s wisdom in ALL things.”

      I totally agree. We should be good stewards of the money God blesses us with, and we should be active in alleviating poverty with our money, time, and energy. But we need to tread cautiously and make sure that we don’t take what that looks like in OUR family and deem that as a standard for everyone else. If we start doing that, we’re just a bunch of Pharisees.

      For what it matters (and it doesn’t!), I don’t think you’re doing that with you originally said, Marla. I’m not sure where the balance is between the two extremes clearly expressed in all the comments (LOL!), but I commend you for doing what you’re doing out of a sincere desire to wholeheartedly honor the Lord.

      1. Brooke

        i just came back to the party because the ebook i’m reading used the John 21:22 scripture regarding a point of his (unrelated to the topic at hand) but i wanted to come back and say that this sums up how i feel about the matter. Rosanne just beat me to it!

        Maybe Dave Ramsey has been called by God to live in a huge house so that he can host parties to raise money for charity and maybe Marla & Co have been called to serve on the mission field.

        The bottom line is not what others are doing with what they do (n’t) have – its what is God calling me to do. Specifically (because generally, as Marla stated, we’re all called to give to the poor).

      2. Rosanne

        Don’t we all? lol A very good friend of mine who has since passed away used to say, You can disagree with me or you can be right. She had some, shall we say, strong opinions. I think what you are doing is wonderful – to be wholehearted about following God is rare and something God definitely blesses. (check out the kings of Israel and Judah).

        I didn’t mean to imply YOU were trying to be legalistic about this, but this is the type of topic that can take that turn if we aren’t careful. This seems to be the type of subject where people become entrenched in their philosophy, and “take sides.” I just wanted to point out that it’s a waste of time to take sides since if we don’t obey God, what’s the point anyway?

  15. Nancy

    I have been away for a few days so missed the previous post and haven’t actually read comments to that one or this (I’m at work!! Ended up here after a quick peek at FB!), but wanted to put in my two cents’ worth… A few years ago we were debt free except for our house and took the Dave Ramsey course in search of what our next step should be. We felt led to start building up an emergency fund which was something we had never done and always kind of poo-pooed. We followed what I wholeheartedly believe now was God’s leading and did what Dave recommended. Not long after we had established the fund, my husband lost his job and ended up being unemployed for 18 months. We don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t had that money in savings! And we thanked God every day for leading us to do it, even though we didn’t really think it was necessary at the time. Looking back we totally see it was God’s provision for us. In fact, we’re considering going back to give a testimony at the class that’s taking place now. And, in addition to keeping up with our mortgage payments and monthly bills during that time, we were also able to continue tithing and supporting our Compassion child.

  16. Danielle

    Oh Marla, bless your sweet, passionate, God-broken heart. Seriously, bless you! This is a difficult thing for those of us living in the 1st world to reconcile in our hearts when we experience the 3rd world. I praise God that nothing created (even abundance or lack) is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus said the poor will always be with us, the implication being in my mind that this is a consequence of living in a fallen world and hopefully awaiting all things being reconciled unto to God. The “not yet” of that is where our hearts struggle. Is the struggle a place for argument or action? The Taviano family (or any other family) is not able to care for all of the poor in this world, but all Christians are part of the work of reconciling all things to God by preaching the Gospel and caring for the poor. Praise God that your family is willingly being challenged by the struggle, and by the call.

  17. ellen

    we are blessed abundantly — above what we can ask or think — so that we can be a blessing to others and have a wonderful life here on earth.

  18. Emily Kay

    I hadn’t read the “offending” blog post but I scrolled down and saw what must have caused the hoop-la. πŸ™‚ You know what? I’m RIGHT there with you. I have lots of friends that ADORE Dave Ramsey and while I appreciate his advice, it’s not for everyone. We’re debt-free (other than our house) and we have a savings account, but it’s definitely not up to Dave’s standards. However, we give abundantly and I wouldn’t change that for ANYTHING. God is our only “fall-back” plan and we want to keep it that way. No, that doesn’t mean we’ll be irresponsible with our money but it does mean that some things are more important than having a financial contigency plan for the next 100 years. Believe me, I’d rather be “safe than sorry”…living with my mother for 20 years drilled that into my head…but my husband is a trust-God-and-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person and I’ve gradually come to enjoy the freedom that comes with giving everything to God.

  19. katie

    thanks for the post and sharing your heart. and for the record, just in case you don’t know, i wasn’t the other katie who posted a comment 5 minutes ago… from my rantings about dave ramsey yesterday, i don’t want you to think that i was the one who said that. and i LOVE the video of your mission statement.

  20. Katie

    I have a very honest, blunt question for you. This is truly not intended to be snarky, so please don’t take it that way.

    How does this: “But, the older I get, the more squeamish I get when I hear about people spending lots of money on themselves while people around the world have NOTHING.”

    Reconcile with “[Gabe] bought me a Nook Color with his own money…”? (from Chapter 3 of your e-book)

    To me, a Nook costs “lots of money” and you call it Gabe’s money, not God’s. You are allowing people to “bless” you (not being a “burden” to them), yet spending money on things that are not needs according to your definition (food, shelter, clothing) from yesterday’s comments.

    1. ellen

      these certainly are thought provking — and I’m sure feel snarky – and definately goes back to doing what God tells you to do — with every penny you have —

      1. Victoria

        Seriously? That’s your reply to Katie’s comment? Didn’t you and Gabe discuss the purchase before it was made (and the other things you could dow with the money, such as putting it towards your Cambodia fund?) I don’t really understand that, since you didn’t even want a kindle. It just doesn’t seem like a well thought out purchase. I’m not saying that I am guilt-free, but since you publicly announce your opinions about finances, you should expect some sort of questioning when you don’t practice what you preach (or Gabe, since you are both “like-minded” in this category).

      2. Katie

        I was actually surprised he hadn’t responded yet. πŸ™‚ But you still accepted the gift, instead of putting the money toward Cambodia or giving? So it’s not all on Gabe?

      3. Katie

        Also, I wanted to say…After thinking about it, I’m afraid that came across as an “aha! caught you!” comment, and it was not supposed to! I’m sorry about that. Just truly interested in your answer.

  21. Rebekah Gambrell

    I was reading “Good News About Injustice” and Haugen talks about being challenged by a church who talked about the story of feeding of the 5 thousand. The disciples brought complaints about the people being hungry and he responded by blessing bits of food then he gave them to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the people. The pastor then said to imagine the disciples just keeping and thanking Jesus for all the food without passing it along to the people. Imagine the disciples being overwhelmed with the abundance of food and just telling Jesus thank you thank you thank you. Then praying why are you not doing anything for the hungry multitude?

  22. Sheree

    When my 10 year-old daughter was in kinder, I started listening to DR sitting in the pick-up line at school. It reasonated with me because the only “talk” I had ever heard in church was just give your money to us and we will do with it what we see fit, i.e. salaries, buildings, comfort for Sunday morning, etc. So, what DR said about paying off debt, saving (cuz I was BROKE) “sounded” good. Then I read a couple of books in the next year or two, one of them by a guy named Shane Claiborne about being “radical” of all things. Then last year, actually prior to your read-along, I read another book by a guy named David Platt, again about being “radical”. After all of this, it just didn’t seem logical in God’s economy anymore to save and be able to care for myself. The paying off debt is crystal clear to me, debtor inslaved to the lender and all; but I’m right there with ya on depending on God. For me personally, I find that I sometimes want a drive-through God. I want to pull up to the big board of goodies, blurt out my request, drive up a few more feet (wait a couple days, maybe) and have God give me what I want, not what I need, but what my selfish desires have set their sites on. My faith doesn’t grow in that and I move no closer to my Creator. So saving we will not be doing, except for Africa!!!!! Love your heart and I knew you weren’t a hater before the explanation, πŸ™‚

  23. Brooke

    i have mixed thoughts on this subject. In some ways saving is important, even spiritually. This is a lame example but its the best I have so it’ll have to do. I’ve gained and lost 15 pounds and fluctuated 3 sizes. I held on to the different sizes not knowing where I was supposed to be.

    then one day God spoke (he borrows the voices that are already in my head – he’s the one that stuggests things that i don’t wanna do :P) to me and said “give them up.”

    me: what if i need them again?
    God: you were able to get those, you can get more.
    me: but I don’t wanna!

    in the end i boxed them up and took them to a yard sale. there was a girl there (who i knew previously) who needed them, but she also needed to talk to someone who understood. she was less monitarily poor and more poor emotionally.

    had i never purchased those pants, or gave them away too quickly I would have missed this appointment God had set for me.

    God didn’t want me to just drop my pants off at the local thrift store. He wanted *that* moment.

    I don’t think having stuff is necessarily wrong, but we must understand that they (or it if we’re talking money) isn’t ours. And if someone asks us for all of our size 8 pants we ask if they needs skirts too.

    I just hope that in asking me to give away my 8s He allows me to fit into my 6s πŸ˜‰

  24. Rachel Degeo

    My 2 year old just keeps asking me to play the video over and over. He says “That funny”. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Angela

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but it sounds like your last two posts have been you sharing your hearts about what God has told you to do. I’m not taking it as an order for me, and I’m not threatened by it – God will let me know what he wants my family to do. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. It seems, from the comments I’ve read, that is especially challenging for people when they see God’s radical call on your life. May he continue to guide you!

  26. Dave Matchack

    Marla…
    I get your message… People take a whole lot for granted in this country. Until they step out into a developing country and see exactly what they have… people have no clue…
    I like Dave’s philosophies on money. and while I understand your disdain for his delivery method… I think ultimately he is just providing a way for us to get out of debt and do what we want with our resources… if that’s buying some other crap that we really don’t need… then so be it… but it could also be to provide resources to help these developing countries (and local communities, for that much) as well… The bottom line in Dave’s message… when you sift through the sales pitches… is that once you are debt free… you are no longer slave to anyone… you have more options and freedom to do what you want… and ultimately… what God wants… I must say… you are one talented writer. I like your style… keep up the great work!

    1. Marla Taviano

      I agree, Dave, that Dave’s debt-reduction plans are really good. And you’re right, it’s what he suggests next that I take issue with. I think we’ve bought into an American Dream and are trying our darnedest to make it line up with the Bible.

  27. Cory Z

    I find it interesting that we are all talking about planning for the future. As a survivor of a major medical event the future is a very uncertain thing. Should we have debt? No! Should we give to the poor? Yes! I hear a lot of talk of planning for the future. What for? Retirement? Is that Biblical? I don’t remember anyone retiring in the Bible. Am I saying continue to work your career? Maybe maybe not, if you are able to work at other things great but to retire (quit) I think that is wrong. See what Jon Piper has to say http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60_TmQdxkcI I have heard that your most productive years to help others are from 50-70 because you have the most resources and wisdom. Get out of debt and get out of your comfort zone! Where is your treasure? Where is your heart? I don’t think this discussion is about DR, I think this discussion is about our hearts.

  28. Robin O'Bryant

    WOW! Woman you ARE brave!!

    I think people who have traveled as missionaries have a totally different definition of wants vs. needs than those who haven’t seen starving children begging in the streets.

    And I think no matter what we are called to be good stewards of what God has given us. To not spend frivolously. To pray and seek Him when making financial decisions.

    My grandparents were amazing examples of good stewardship. Neither went to college, they worked their entire lives. They were tithers and HUGE givers. My grandmother was Extreme Couponing WAY back in the day! Looking over their finances after their deaths my mother and her brothers were amazed at the percentage of their income they were able to live off of. Not only did they give to missions, support and serve the local Red Cross and soup kitchen and give wherever they saw a need, they died with money in the bank.

    Money that was given to me and my siblings. Money that allowed us to pay off more debt and to give more. What a blessing!

    The most difficult thing for me to process when thinking about this subject is where do we draw the line?? Is it wrong to have a two-car household when you could struggle and have just one? Is it wrong to take your family on a vacation instead of a mission trip? I really don’t know. But I am with you in that if I had to choose between “a cushion” and depending on God’s unlimitless grace… I’m going to go with God!

  29. Amy

    This is really messing me up! I have a lot of thinking to do. I definitely have a problem with putting my faith in my money and my budget. Ugh!
    But, if God has something awesome for our family and I would rather hold on to my pennies so that I can have “okay”, that’s really ridiculous, isn’t it?

  30. Erin

    Hi!
    Interesting discussion! I def. think paying everything off and making that your sole aim could be full of self, self. When I read some of the Dave Ram. posts on his website these people are hardcore. No vacation, 1,000 car, etc.

    I don’t feel God calls us to self-deprivation for future millionaire status.

    However, I do feel that it’s so freeing and liberating to pay off debt using his snowball method. It’s helped us pay off our debt, car loan and school loan. We are still paying things off, but we rarely fight about where our finances are going because we have a plan. And we try to leave room for God’s call to give. It’s always good to be aware though of our tendency to keep things that may not be ours to keep.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Hi, Erin! Thanks for chiming in. I love your thoughts. We’re doing a loose version of the debt snowball right now. I think it’s a very effective method of getting out of debt.

  31. mary nowlan

    I LOVED Radical! In Radical, several times he suggests to try to live well beneath your income. Then give generously out of that to those in need.

    He states that saving is not bad, but to give what God lies on your heart while trusting God to provide is the most Christ like way to follow.

    I think the main thing here is saving prudently vs hoarding.Defining that may well vary for many of us but the bottom line is that we(in America) live not only extravagantly compared to the rest of the world but that we view most of that extravagance as necessity.
    The best cure for those who find this topic a challenge is to take time to read Radical. Then decide for yourself where your heart lies.

  32. Mandy

    One of the Bible passages that has convicted me most in this was the passage in Matthew 25:31-46. When we help the poor, we’re doing those things to Jesus, himself.

    It may be true that we will never solve the problem of poverty, but it’s probably because of the same problem the rich young man faced in Matthew 19 when he wouldn’t sell all he had and give to the poor as Jesus urged him to. I believe those who are rich, myself included, could solve the problem of poverty in the world if we lived as Jesus taught. But we don’t. And Jesus knows that we won’t.

    When I give, I don’t think of a massive black hole of poverty that can never be filled. I think of one child who will not starve to death because I am sponsoring him or her. I think of one life who will know the love of Jesus because I gave up a few dollars of my wealth. What is the value of one life?

    I will never be a financial “burden” on anyone because I don’t save. It may be true that there will be times when I will be a blessing to someone else who has the opportunity to give to me as God directs them to. Giving is a blessing, not a burden. So I never worry about being a burden unless I’m listening to the wrong voice. Instead I know that I should never worry about money (Matthew 6:25-34).

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but here’s what I believe God is teaching me: Satan wants me to focus on finances and save wealth for myself “just in case”. God wants me to trust him and not hang on to what I have when others are dying. How many people died today because I’m hoarding my wealth? How many people won’t meet Jesus because I’ve got a savings account?

    When we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord, and he will repay us (Proverbs 19:7).

    1. Mandy

      My younger son keeps asking me to play your video “Again! Again!” It’s a big hit here. He may memorize your family purpose statement.

    2. Marla Taviano

      Are you in my head?? Because this is EXACTLY how I feel. You just said it WAY more clearly and with SO much grace. Thank you, thank you, thank you, friend! I could hug and kiss you!!!

    3. Craig

      I know you’re reacting to some of what I said. I just want to say I don’t disagree with any of what you say here except when you contradict God (by claiming we can eliminate poverty) when he said “the poor shall be with you always”. Of course I never said we shouldn’t help the poor, as the same God told us to do that, too. I’m just saying the journey is the reward in this case (just as you said). We are blessed when we give, not when we solve the problem.

      1. Mandy

        “The poor shall be with you always” could mean that we can’t solve the problem of poverty because we don’t have enough resources. It could also me that we WON’T eliminate poverty because we will not live as Jesus commands, even though we do have enough resources to eliminate poverty. I’m not contradicting God, I’m merely offering my interpretation, which is the latter. May God reveal to me if I have, indeed, contradicted him.

        That larger passage (Matthew 26:6-13) is quite interesting, though. It speaks to how we need to 1) seek God and be led by the Holy Spirit in what we give and where. Jesus knew this women’s heart and why she was anointing him with the perfume versus selling it and giving it to the poor. 2) Not judge others’ stewardship of their resources. The disciples were judging this woman when, again, only Jesus knew her heart. 3) Jesus always has to come first – not money, or laws, or rules or principles. It has to be Jesus first in our lives or we will fail and fall.

  33. Sherry

    I am in any way trying to explain way Jesus’ words. I wholeheartedly agree we should give to the poor. Jesus spoke of “treasures” as in wealth and abundance. Jesus does not contradict scriptures with advocates financial planning. As far as following Jesus words written in the Gospels as oppose to Proverbs, all scripture inspired by God and we should look to the Bible as a whole for guidance, should we not?

    1. Marla Taviano

      Okay, I don’t want to get in a fight here, so I’ll tread gently. But I think Jesus DOES contradict financial planning, depending on how we interpret verses like–“Sell your possessions and give to the needy.” And sending out the disciples with just the clothes on their backs.

      As for the Proverbs, they are guidelines and interpreted differently than Jesus’ words. And I just read Proverbs 6 about the ant, and all I see there is that we’re told not to be lazy. Ants are known for working really hard. I see nothing about saving up money for the future. An ant certainly doesn’t do that.

      1. Christine

        An ant doesn’t store up for the future? Um, yeah, it does. All summer. Preparing for the lean times during the abundant times. Verse 8 “…yet it STORES its provisions in summer and GATHERS its food at harvest.”

        And the Proberbs are guidelines? “ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim. 3:16-17

        1. Marla Taviano

          My version (ESV) says, “prepares her bread in summer.” That’s what I was going by. The sluggard is the one who’s supposed to learn from the ant–not the person threatening to give too much away. And in Luke 12, the man who stored all his grains and goods in bigger barns got his life taken.

          And yes, all Scripture is God-breathed, but when it comes to the Old Testament and New Testament seeming to contradict each other, I’m going by Jesus’ words, not one verse about an ant. And there is MUCH, much, much in the Old Testament we no longer have to live by, because it was part of the law (see Leviticus).

  34. Craig

    I haven’t read any Dave Ramsey stuff but I’ve seen him on TV. In general I avoid people who write books where they simplify life down to a jingle. But here’s some things I know:

    1. Jesus told us that giving to the poor is a black hole (Matt 26:11). We can’t give enough to eliminate poverty. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help those who are in need; just that we should be confident in the truth of God’s Word that says we’ll never solve the problem.

    2. One of the implications of (1) is that it doesn’t hurt to manage your own finances well, which includes saving for lean times and taking care of those closest to us. It’s not like you’re going to solve world poverty by giving away your 6-month emergency fund. However, like others have said, you might avoid becoming a burden on others by planning ahead for yourself.

    3. Without fear of contradiction, I can tell you that if God wants to humble you for over-preparing for the future, he can do it. You can’t save enough to out-trial God. So even if you save to the point where you feel “safe”, God can take what you have one way or another and give it to someone else. Even those of us who are well-prepared for the future are one lost job, one hospital bill, one natural disaster, or one economic downturn away from being ill-prepared.

    So while sound financial planning for one’s own future is not unbiblical, we should keep in mind that God can undo our plans in an instant. We shouldn’t put our faith in our savings, but neither should we give everything away and in so doing become a drag on others.

    1. Marla Taviano

      I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with your interpretation of Matthew 26:11. Jesus’ disciples were whining that the woman anointing Jesus’ feet was “wasting” money that “could’ve been given to the poor.” She was giving a sacrificial gift of love to her Savior, and they thought it was a bit much. Jesus saw her heart and told them to hush. “If you’re really concerned about the poor, they’ll still be here next week. I, on the other hand, am about ready to die.” (my paraphrase)

      There are maybe 5 verses that say, “You’ll always have the poor here.” There are over TWO THOUSAND that tell us to care for them.

      Helping the poor is not a black hole. Nothing done in Jesus’ name is a black hole. The only black hole is storing up treasures on earth instead of heaven.

        1. ellen

          Opps — If you give everything to the poor WITHOUT God telling you specifically to do that the only thing you will do is be poor also — and if you feel compeled by Him to do that then you will never want for anything. You reap what you sow !!! God blesses – 40 60 100 fold in return for sowing – but it has to be God led. and this debate will never be over because it is individual plans from God. We all aren’t suposed to be mother Theresa !!! but she was doing what He called her to.

          1. Marla Taviano

            I agree that the exact details of everyone’s situation are different. However, there are 2000+ verses in the Bible that tell us to help the poor. If that’s not God “telling me to give,” I don’t know what is. If we’re holding on to our possessions until we hear an audible voice, then I imagine we’re not being obedient.

          2. ellen

            but is that God telling you to give it all — There isn’t a verse that says you must live without — it does say to give and it will be given to you — pressed down and running over — so you may have to give again — Ps 37:4-5 another angle — again — there is no verse that says give it all, live without. It does say to listen to His lead for your life. If you are called to give it all — give it. Some are – I have friends living in Haiti as missonaries — they are called to that life — I am not, but I support there lives financially – if we all give it all — who is there to support??

          3. Marla Taviano

            I’m not talking about giving everything away and hitting the streets begging. But I think each of us needs to exam each financial choice in light of God’s commands to help the poor.

      1. Craig

        I think we actually agree. My point is that things aren’t always black and white. The Bible gives us a bunch of conflicting priorities and we have to balance them out. The disciples saw things in black and white and criticized the woman anointing Jesus’ feet. Jesus gave them balance — take care of the poor tomorrow and the next day and the next, but don’t neglect today’s priority.

        That’s all I’m saying. Choosing whether to give or to save is not an either-or. Do both. Choosing whether to plan for the future or meet today’s needs is not an either-or. Do both. In each case, evaluate the situation as it stands right now and prioritize appropriately, using scriptural principles.

        I didn’t say not to help the poor. I said the Bible tells me “the poor shall be with you always” and as a person who believes the Bible, I believe that. God said it. The Bible also says to help the poor. And as a person who believes the Bible, I believe that, too.

  35. Amber

    I took Financial Peace a few years back. It was helpful to follow the first few steps (gathering an emergency fund and debt snowball), but after that, I full agree with Marla.

    Borrow is slave to the lender, so getting rid of debt is biblical. But I too want to be in a place where I’m not “safe”. If we are truly laying our daily needs at God’s feet, seeking His direction in where and how we spend HIS money, then the idea of saving for the future will look different. What does God want you to do with the money He has given you today?

    It’s easy to sit back and point fingers. It’s easy to say “Well, we aren’t spending money frivolously like them.” But if you spend any time overseas, in countries that truly know what it is to be poor, you will see that most of us have more than plenty. And we are attempting to cushion ourselves “just in case”.

    I would be happy to die without a penny to my name knowing I had served God the way He desired with what He provided for my family.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thank you for this, Amber. I’m all about the Debt Snowball too (working on it right now).

      And God has told me lately to SIT ON MY FINGERS instead of pointing them. I’m having trouble obeying (or at least, having trouble drawing the line between sharing my thoughts and judging others).

  36. Sherry

    People in the NT church and Jesus’ day weren’t living to 75-80yrs of age.

    “But if anyone does not provide for his own, especially for those of his own household he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    1. godsmac

      I get the drift you’re saying that we only have that many years, so might as well get all we can get? If the NT church lived longer, then they had more freedom/time to give since it wasn’t so “scarce”? That’s what it sounded like – hope I was fairly close.

      1. Ali

        My two cents . . . if we are living longer (and we are) doesn’t that give God many more years to show us that He is our provider – how cool is that?!

  37. Claudia Porpiglia

    I totally understand what you are saying about the concept of “emergency fund” and “cushion” in light of so many having nothing. We have struggled with this at an even deeper level knowing that we have a dependent adult child who will need care all of her life. We still don’t have the answers and probably never will but we know beyond a shadow of a doubt Who we trust in to provide and protect! πŸ˜‰

      1. Claudia Porpiglia

        I am realizing that not following the Biblical example of the New Testament has really hurt our society. Most entitlement programs were a direct result of communities/churches not stepping up to help those in true need. Once the programs were established, then many others saw an opportunity to get something for nothing.

        One of the great struggles we have had is the fact that Tina receives government help. We need the help in caring for her and it is what is available. As our state is working through lack of funds, we are realizing that churches/communities are not ready to begin picking up the slack that is occurring. “Natural” supports for the disabled are just not readily available.

        Sorry, know this is not directly related to your post but I truly believe that it is directly related to our Americanized perspective on what our role is.

          1. Claudia Porpiglia

            I still believe that God can heal Tina!!! I am hoping to see it this side of eternity but will be just as thankful if it happens when she enters eternity! πŸ˜‰

  38. Megan at SortaCrunchy

    Oh, darling friend. You are far more brave than I will ever be to engage the Dave Ramsey faithful in all of their fierceness and RIGHT(!)ness. I love you, and you are so bold and courageous.

    It makes me sad that through the years we have lost so much of how the early New Testament church lived. No one saved for retirement (and certainly not for luxuries) in that culture because there was the expectation that family would take care of you in your old age. For those that had no family, the church stepped in to provide.

    That’s why all of their resources were pooled so that no one lived in want. Try getting a bunch of Americans to get on board with that.

    But, so, we are called to live within our own culture, understanding it and engaging it and being Christ’s hands and feet to those around us – WHATEVER that looks like. If more people would allow themselves to be untangled from the American Dream (it’s so liberating, isn’t it?!), I think more people would hear a different call on their lives.

    We live in an interesting tension with this. Kyle is a financial adviser and spends his days counseling people to make wise decisions – mostly for retirement. At the same time, God is chipping away at our dreams of financial security and a beautiful new home in the country with chickens and goats and everything WE want, teaching us to hold our dreams loosely so that we are always ready to follow after His heart.

    I do love you, friend. May the conversation that follows this post be filled with grace and peace.

    PS – LOVE the video. I miss you, Tavianos! XOXOXOXO

    1. Marla Taviano

      You, my friend, are a gift. I love you. And I echo your prayer for a conversation filled with grace and peace. You might want to say a double prayer for me. πŸ˜‰

  39. Sherry

    I too have a passion for both travel and for those in need. I have travelled to many places around the world and wish for my children to share that passion and those experiences with me. However, To “see the world” in lieu of saving anything for retirement and stating this will allow you to “trust God fully” is just setting yourself up to become a burden to society, your children, and/or your church which is absolutely not Biblical.

    There is a stark difference between hoarding loads of cash and living in abundance and being fiscally responsible. Saving money for the future is Bibically sound and you can’t just ignore scriptures that teach that by quoting another part of the Bible. Nor does this prove you are “trusting God more fully”. Jesus’ teachings warn against greed and selfishness not prudent money management.

    “Go to the Ant…consider her ways”.

    1. Marla Taviano

      With all respect, Sherry, I could say the same to you. You can’t explain away Jesus’ words by quoting other Scripture.

      “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

      There are hundreds and hundreds more verses about taking care of the poor, giving to the poor, etc. than there are about “saving for your future.”

      And yes, the book of Proverbs says, “Go to the Ant…consider her ways” but I’m going to go to Jesus and consider his.

  40. Thomas Ashmead

    I agree with this post. I like being in control and I do save. I save because I have a feeling that God’s plan for me may involve future expenditure and sacrifice, but the test will be when that time comes and whether I’m willing to let go of the money or not.

    Also my tendency to save often gets in the way of my tendency to give. I find myself thinking “I can’t give that because that’ll eat into my savings”.

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