Updated: Feb 25, 2021
It’s hard to look back over my first thirty years and find anyone teaching me solid, Biblical lessons about money.
My dad did encourage me to save for a rainy day but never enforced it through consequences. We were middle-class, but constantly afraid of running out. We moved a lot; he was frequently between jobs - good-paying, executive-level ones. We were not a Christian household.
Public schools taught me nothing, in the days when I would have paid attention. I took an economics class my senior year in high school … mostly because I had to. I was far too disinterested by that time and did not get along with the teacher.
My first two decades in the workforce were a hodgepodge. I could interview well, and make good first impressions. After a while, however, my true colors of pride, selfishness, greed and laziness would show. In my early twenties, I hopped from one job to another.
I needed a job from which I could neither get fired, nor easily resign - so I joined the US military. They had briefings and classes you could take for financial readiness. But by then, the best things they could tell me were things I already knew - “Don’t spend more than you earn.”
My integration into the Kingdom of God also proved financially … mediocre. Though my wife and I married debt-free (and remain so to this day), and though we are two-time graduates of Financial Peace University … I still couldn’t manage to raise my personal income above the federal poverty level.