There are few things I don’t like talking about, but money is definitely one of them. Whether it’s how to split a dinner bill, people asking if I started a 401(k), or even the mention of extravagant travels…it all makes me cringe. I don’t know how to handle it. Or, at least, I didn’t.
I grew up in a loving household, but any talk about money always started a fight. Always. Add to that the bullhorn of society shouting that churches only want your money, and you’ve got years of wiring that made me tiptoe around the topic. So, yes, talk of Financial Peace University made me cringe, too. Why take it? I have a handle on my finances, I’m doing fine, and I don’t have anyone depending on me financially. But, here’s the deal: That’s incredibly selfish. (Hear the emphasis on me?) I’m ok — I don’t need help. That may be true, but what about everyone around me? What about everything my money could be doing for others?
As a single person living in a city I never thought I could live in, there’s been a ton of sacrifice to get here — on my part and from others. My parents took on jobs that would pay the bills, and they worked overtime while also taking on debt to give us the childhood they wanted us to have. My sisters and many friends gave to a mission trip that would change my life. Countless others have given their time, advice and yes, money, to pay for things when I couldn’t, to open doors to internships and experiences that have led to a life I am so grateful for. Let us not forget what sacrifice originally makes all of that possible. So, how can I let the sacrifice and generosity stop at me? Because I’m okay?
The truth is, I don’t want to be okay. I want to be a part of changing more lives. I want to give. I want to do what so many have done for me. And to do that, I’ve got to talk about money. As Dave Ramsey puts it, I don’t want to work hard my whole life just to say at the end of it, “Where’d all the money go?” I want to know that every dollar went to good use.
I don’t want to spend my life fighting about money.
I want to fight for something greater.
Melanie is the Communications Director at Hoboken Grace.
Join a Financial Peace University group here.