I enjoy listening to The Dave Ramsey Show on the radio. Dave’s philosophy is pretty simple. Don’t borrow money EVER! And if you have debt, pay it off NOW!
(If you are interested in the process, click here.)
And yet, every day someone calls his radio show and says, “I know you say not to borrow money, BUT…excuses, excuses, excuses.” Some people find themselves up to their eyeballs in creditors. Others don’t want to miss out on an investment deal (that has a 99% failure rate). Others just really dislike the color of their bathroom tile, and can’t possibly wait 6 months and save the money for a home remodel. They need what they want NOW!
I usually roll my eyes at these callers. Don’t they get it?!?! This is Dave Ramsey, best-selling author and shockingly brilliant financial adviser He’s not going to change his mind because you have yet another sob story. Stop making excuses and get with the program! (Or don’t call the show…)
Excuse, Excuses, Excuses…
The whole situation reminds me of a passage in Luke 16. Jesus was preaching about being faithful with our money.
- We cannot lie and cheat way to wealth and expect not to get caught.
- We should not misuse what God has given us for selfish gain.
- We will not be trusted with true riches until we have proven ourselves faithful with money and material possessions.
- Scripture is abundantly clear: we cannot serve God and money.
You see in Deuteronomy when God told the people "you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (6:5) the Pharisees weren't listening. Instead, they had exchanged a love of God for a love of money.
The words of Jesus cut right to their core. "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts."
Like the Pharisees, I sometimes find myself at odds with the Word of God, but rather than confess my sin and repent, I justify my actions. I have sound logical arguments about why I should spend money on things I don’t need, should eat whatever I want, should not go to church, should gossip about my neighbor, should say what I think, and should do what I want.
However, those arguments which sound so good to my fleshly ears fall short before the throne of God. God doesn't listen to our arguments. He listens to our hearts. He sees my selfishness, my materialism, my gluttony, my self-love, and those things which are exalted among men are detestable in the sight of God.
There is a way that seems right unto a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12
I guess we could say there is a way (borrowing money) that seems right to men, but according to Dave Ramsey its end is the way of creditors, stress, and financial ruin. People can argue and justify themselves all they want, but in the end Dave knows more about this stuff than they do. Listen to his advice or hang up.
The same applies to God’s Word in our lives. We can waste our time justifying ourselves before men, or we can follow God’s plan for our life. We can argue or reap the benefits of obedience. It’s really all about where your heart is.
*I completely endorse Dave Ramsey and his teachings about money. I find them to be biblical and full of wisdom. Of course, you don’t have to agree with Dave’s teachings to love Jesus, even if he is right. You do, however, have to agree with Jesus.Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10