"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have"
In a recent blog post on CNN, Rachel Evans discusses some potential pitfalls to the popular Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace" program. I thought the article was very insightful and causes a closer look to be taken (especially to us here in the wealthy West), a perspective I think is biblically rooted. While I agree with Ms. Evans that much of Dave Ramsey's principles and strategies are effective, "particularly for middle-class Americans struggling with mounting credit card bills", however I do see that my own perspecitve on money, even the motives for living debt free (which of course living debt free is a good thing, and I am taught by the scriptures to live in such a way - c.f. Rom 13) are actually often rooted in my own desires for comfort and pleasure, not in the love of God and others. We must be ever vigilant in recognizing and combating the pressures of our culture and context, that teach us unceasingly that we are to buy more, have more, do more, and live ever more comfortably, luxuriously, and 'happily'. We must also be aware of the somewhat more subtle occurances where perhaps we wish to be debt free to these same ends. But is this indeed what Jesus teaches life will be like for us here on the earth who follow Him (c.f. Jn 16:33; Jn 15:18-25)? Comfortable? Amazing vacations? Big screen TV's? Large retirement portfolio's? Or is this simply a veil over our hearts and minds ever pulled by the 'ruler of the air' (c.f. Eph 2:1-2)? Jesus was and is counter-cultural. This will always be true, for He intiates a culture and kingdom not of this world, that will always be counter to any and every kingdom of this earth (c.f. Phl 3:20).
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Tim 6:10