Take Paul for instance. This guy goes around, persecuting Christians and then one day the Lord knocks some sense into him, and suddenly he’s on the streets handing out tracts and telling everyone about Jesus!
Then there is Peter. When the heat was on, he denies even knowing Jesus (even after saying he wouldn’t!). And then after all that, Jesus still decides to use him as a leader to build His church.
And, let’s not forget Moses. Here’s a guy who’s not a very good speaker and God asks him to lead His people out of Egypt!
Am I missing something here? Wouldn’t you go for the most zealous of followers to write your bible? Wouldn’t you pick the most courageous of men to help start your movement? And, wouldn’t you pick the most eloquent of speakers to lead a people?
I would, but then again I don’t think like God.
There is great beauty in these unlikely of stories. It revolves around what God does best: redemption.
The stories show us that despite our failings or shortcomings, God can use it for good.
If you were to tell me eight years ago that I would someday help create and write a personal finance website, I would have laughed. Hysterically.
Eight years ago, I was about $40k in debt and unemployed. Half of my debt was in credit cards alone. I had no budget, let alone any clue as to how to create one. If you were to ask me who Dave Ramsey was, I would have replied with something like, “is he a race car driver?”
In the summer of 2003, I finally woke up and assessed my situation. It wasn’t pretty. After hitting the bottom, it took five years of concentrated effort to pay most of my debts off.
During that time, I developed a budget, tracked all my expenses and income monthly and developed an emergency fund. I was on my way.
Allow me to exhort you
My goal is to bring you some sort of encouragement or hope. Especially if my story sounds familiar or if you are currently worse off than I was.
- Try and honestly assess your current situation. This is probably the hardest part in getting your financial house in order. For many years, I was in denial about my debt and always excused it. It wasn’t until I made an honest assessment about my finances that real change started taking place.
- Don’t lose hope. Once you’ve become enlightened to your financial condition, shock may set in, and you could become depressed with an overall sense of defeat. While this is probably normal, try to set a goal for yourself. “In two years, I want to be debt-free.” “In four years, I want my car paid off.” And, so on. Don’t lose sight of your goal and let it be your motivation.
- Find a debt-buddy or financial friend. This helped me a lot. I found another chap who was also in debt and we began meeting together to talk about our goals and our progress. It also served as a great encouraging force for both of us.
- Don’t begrudge your failings. If you let them, your failings can teach you a lot. Be open to the instruction and know that one day they can provide an open door for helping others. There is always hope in your situation and redemption can be just around the corner.
How has God redeemed your financial situation? Let us know in the comments!
This guest post is part of the CPF Writer Auditions. In March of 2010, Aaron and his friends, Charlie and Mark started threethriftyguys.com to “help folks keep a few more bucks in their pockets”. A designer by day, Aaron was once $40k in debt. After 5 years, he dug himself out and lives to tell about it.