The first car I ever bought was a lemon. I’m not sure if they use that word the same way across the world, but a lemon is a car that doesn’t work well. For a number of reasons, you don’t see all its many, many imperfections before you buy it but after you buy it, you immediately discover them. That is what happened to me.
When I would drive 70mph, it would just turn itself off. Right there in the middle of the highway it would quit working. I would pull off as quickly as I could, steering the now dead vehicle into the grass angrily. Good times.
That was perhaps the dumbest thing I ever did financially. Or maybe the mountain bike I took out a loan on in college. Or the church business I started where the other dude stole all the money. I am not good with money.
But one of the things I never did was assume that God would bail me out of my financial mistakes.
I know people that do this. They make crazy financial decisions and the entirety of their financial plan is “God.” For instance, some friends of friends had their daughter’s 16th birthday on the MTV show “My super sweet 16.” (The thing I like about that show is that it plays a key role into raising a well balanced, not at all entitled, humble young teenager.)
At the end of the show, the producers asked the parents if they were going to do the same, crazy party, buy a car, invite hundreds of people kind of spectacle for their other daughter. Their response was something like, “Well if God provides.”
I think God throws up a little on Moses’ crocs when we say stuff like that. (Moses wore sandals for 40 years in the desert, I think he’s wearing crocs now.) When we buy cars we can’t afford and homes that are too big and throw massive resort vacations on credit cards and then say “God will provide.”
Here’s the thing, I think we serve an experiential God, not a consequential God. He wants to be present and involved with all of our experiences. With our financial options, our budgets our salaries etc. He doesn’t just want to lay dormant until there are consequences. He’s not like the Wolf character in the movie Pulp Fiction, a professional cleaner that comes in to fix our mistakes. He wants to be there beginning, middle and end of story.
A few years ago, my wife and I read a book by Dave Ramsey. We cut up our credit cards and started to make better decisions. I’m still not great at the whole money thing. I own way too many pairs of Puma sneakers to tell anyone how to spend their money. I just think being smart with money is more about making smart decisions than making good apologies to God when the credit card bills arrive.
Should God be part of every aspect of your life? Yes. Is he capable of saving you from credit debt? Without a doubt. Is He cool with you buying an Xbox instead of paying off your credit card bills because you think having it will help you save money because you won’t be going out as much because you’ll be home playing it? Debatable.
p.s. Tomorrow I will be posting the lady version of the Metrosexual worship leader guide.