I’m a big fan of your work, but I have to ask one question. Why do you advocate belief in religion for dealing with financial hardship, even for those who don’t believe in religion?
First, I don’t believe that religion is the answer. I do, however, advocate God. I believe with all my heart that there is a God. I also believe that He’s in control, and that He’s crazy about us and wants good things for us. That’s my value system. It’s how I approach every equation, whether it’s financial or not.
I’m not mad at people who don’t feel this way. When someone who’s in debt or behind on their mortgage asks advice, I don’t tell them the answer is to go read their Bible. I give them financial advice. If they speak in Christian terminology, I answer in Christian terminology because I’m a believer. I know how to speak the language and can connect with them. But you’ll never hear me beat someone up just because they’re not a person of faith. At the same time, I’ll never back away from the idea that God is real just because someone else isn’t a believer!
Personal finance is 80 percent behavior, and 20 percent head knowledge. I’ve said that for years. If people can grasp that one statement, I can teach them lots of great stuff. Yet it would be naïve to try and have a discussion about behavior modification without including relationships, emotions, psychology, and spirituality. That’s not just my opinion. It’s a logical, well-rounded view of the facts.
But when it comes right down to it, I advocate a belief in God and study of the Bible as the answer to almost every question, because they will take you places you need to go!
Teaching Them How to Spend
We follow your plan and give our kids commissions for working around the house. We also try to teach them about spending, saving and giving. Still, it bugs us when they blow their money on junk, or on things we don’t approve of, and immediately start worrying about the next thing they can buy. Should this bother us, and what can we do?
Of course it should bother you. It bothers me just to hear about it!
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