Written by Jim Loscheider (Elder and Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach) on September 1, 2023.
“Americans have an absolute mountain of credit card debt — $1.031 trillion, to be exact.”
“The truth is, unless you change the habits and attitudes that got you into debt in the first place, you’ll likely cycle in and out of debt for the rest of your life. So, make the decision to be resolved to pay your debts. Don’t seek to escape them. Don’t ignore them. Set a goal date for the payment of each bill. Work steadily, consistently, and patiently toward full payment of what you owe.”
Hebrews 12:11 provides this truth: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (ESV).
A Personal Story of Financial Faithfulness
Here’s an amazing account of faithfully looking to the Lord, finding out what He says about debt, and deciding not to be slaves to debt any longer.
This is the transformational story of Heather and Ryan Blizek, Alliance Bible Fellowship members since 2017:
“We know God owns everything, and we are the stewards/managers of what is rightly His” they said. Learning to be wise with what God entrusted to them is one of the motivating factors that led them to enroll in Financial Peace University.
They took a virtual FPU Class in the spring of 2020 through Ramsey Solutions. As they studied, listened, and processed the Biblical principles that FPU teaches, they got serious about honoring God with their first fruits, and very serious regarding Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (ESV).
Consequently, after much prayer and conviction, they decided it was time to act! Lesson 2 of FPU teaches that you pay off all debts except the house. It’s called Baby Step 2. They paid off $55,000 of debt in 10 months on their modest family income! They went on to Baby Step 3, setting aside 3-6 months of expenses in an Emergency Fund. They were so committed to honoring the Lord, living on less, and sacrificing to succeed, they established a 6-month Emergency Fund. That takes courage, discipline, and self-sacrifice.
They are now working on Baby Steps 4, 5, and 6, which are:
Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% Of Your Household Income In Retirement
Baby Step 5 – Save For Your Children’s College Fund (their beautiful daughter Liberty is a toddler)
Baby Step 6 – Pay Off Your Home Early
An Emergency Financial Situation
In August 2023, a few weeks ago, Heather and Liberty were involved in a serious automobile accident. The car was a total loss, but praise the Lord, Heather and Liberty walked away from the accident with only scrapes and bruises.
Heather and Ryan shared, “Even though we were insured, the insurance money is never as much as you think your car is worth. Our emergency fund helped us to not worry about the additional cost, and allowed us to focus our attention on healing, and not go into debt to replace our car.”
Heather went on to share, “the search for a ‘new’ used car is much less stressful. We negotiated a good deal on the car and even got the dealership to include some needed regular maintenance on the vehicle. With the insurance damage settlement and a small amount of our emergency fund, we were able to purchase a car without going into debt.” Now that is counterculture!
“We don’t really want the credit to go to us as ‘doing well with money,’” they said. They want the credit for what has happened to go to God. He’s providing and protecting. Their goal is to steward what they’ve been given well.
Heather and Ryan give God all the glory for what has happened. Yes, it’s taken discipline and hard work, but with Christ, we can do all things because He’s the one in control (Philippians 4:13). Financial Peace University helped them become even wiser with money. FPU helped them develop a strategy for navigating our toxic money culture. The result? A less stressful emergency and a less stressful life.
I’m grateful Heather and Ryan were willing to share their story and their perspectives on how God is truly in control. Heather and Ryan will be co-coordinating the upcoming FPU class that’s detailed below. They will be joining Lance Parendo and us as we continue to apply God’s principles of managing what He’s entrusted to us for His glory.
Here are the details:
Financial Peace University – FLEX Class
Beginning Sunday, September 17 | 10:45am | 9 weeks
Join us for a special FLEX Financial Peace University class that allows for shorter sessions during Sunday mornings. Class members watch the FPU lessons on their own, whenever it is most convenient, then meet for a 45- to 60-minute class with a team of coordinators. Take control of your personal finances!
Take the time today to learn how you too can experience financial Peace by learning what the Prince of Peace has to say about being a wise financial steward. Click on the link above and fill out the FLEX class interest form today!