For the last two months I’ve been preparing for Financial Peace, a new series we started on Sunday at The Journey. This preparation made me think about my own financial journey.
If you know some of my story (and I won’t repeat it here) then you know that in my teenage/pre-Christian years I made a lot of money writing computer programs and building a computer business. Basically, I earned more money than any 16 year old should be allowed to earn. I wasted quite a bit of it but also used some of it for good (to graduate college debt free and to start my first evangelism ministry after I became a Christian).
In 1990, shortly after I became a Christian, I learned the principle of tithing. I remember thinking, “This is great! God gives me salvation and all he asks from me, from a financial perspective, is 10%.” Sounded like a good deal! (Still does, although I’ve grown quite a bit in my understanding of what God expects.)
Over the next 11 years, through marriage, pastoring, moving and attending seminary, I racked up over $16,000 in credit card debt. This slide into the red began my journey toward becoming a student of biblical stewardship.
Now, I’m happy to say that I’ve been debt free since 2004 (see my P.S. for a free resource on this). And I’ve been living according to biblical stewardship principles at a higher level than ever before. I’m sure I have a long way to go, but I’ve learned a lot.
In fact, my up and down financial journey has led me to make four very strong commitments:
1- The commitment to be debt free for the rest of my life
2- The commitment to always give more than a tithe
3- The commitment to become an expert on biblical stewardship
4- The commitment to challenge others toward Godly stewardship
Let me challenge you to make these four commitments, too! I’ll be going into more detail on each one for the rest of the week…
P.S. In 2006, after being debt free for a couple of years, I recorded a resource where I challenged my fellow pastors to also become debt free. It’s called Debt Free Pastor. I would like to send you a free copy – just send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Debt Free Pastor” and we’ll send you a free download.
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