I recently preached on Fiscal Fitness. During sermon preparation, I asked people to share on Facebook some great financial advice they had received or shared. Here are some of the comments.
- A part of all I earn is mine to keep. In other words, prioritize savings.
- Write down your debt. Then pay off the smallest amount first.
- 10% to God. 10% savings. 10% retirement. 70% life.
- Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.
- The best investment is time in people.
- Make a budget. Stick to it. Reassess each month.
- If you loan others money, consider it a gift.
- Slow and steady wins the race. (Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered!)
- Pay off credit cards each month.
- You don’t need that!
- Spend the inheritance!
- It is not income, but outgo, that determines your wealth.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Spend wisely.
Following my father’s death last fall, I have been sorting through his paperwork. I discovered a cache of greeting cards spanning the 56 years of my parents’ marriage. I enjoyed perusing the sentimental notes they exchanged.
Then I came across some Valentine’s Day cards from their newlywed years. Some things just cannot be unseen, and I am now in psychotherapy! On the other hand, my wife and children found the entire affair hilarious.
Even as an adult, it’s challenging to think of your parents as a young couple passionately in love. Since they had two children, I am theoretically aware of the biology behind the facts. However, I always assumed they only engaged in martial relations two times for the sake of procreation!
Therefore, I am soliciting angel investors to fund a startup business with the working title, “Valentine’s Cards Disposal Service.” Our hazardous waste experts will visit childhood homes and remove mawkish mementos. The savings in counseling sessions alone will more than pay for the service!
For my married readers, I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Make sure your beloved knows how you feel. Express heartfelt feelings in inspired word or lavish verse.
THEN, throw the cards away!
Trust me on this one.
I am serving as the executor of my father’s estate. Since my degree is in theology rather than jurisprudence, its been a steep learning curve. Here are but a few experiences along the ofttimes perplexing way.
When I called companies to cancel services, most representatives expressed heartfelt condolences over my father’s death. One woman in particular sighed and said, “I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost one of my parents.” I learned the simple kindness of strangers possesses an impact beyond proportion to their words.
Other exchanges felt much more transactional. After waiting on hold for 50 minutes (yes, I counted!), an ATT operator finally deigned to disconnect my father’s land line, which the company assigned us in 1973. She brusquely handled the request without a sympathetic word.
Another interesting exchange occurred with Xfinity (Comcast in sheep’s clothing). After only a 40-minute hold, I spoke with a representative who spoke English as a third language. The woman declared the company required my father’s death certificate to CANCEL CABLE TV! Since the account was still in my mother’s name, I would need to submit her death certificate from 2013, too!! Thirty minutes later a slightly less insane supervisor finally approved the cancellation.
Discover proved to be my best encounter. My father worked in management with Sears-Roebuck and obtained one of the first Discover credit cards. The agent expressed her appreciation for his loyalty and sorrow over my loss. She cancelled the card immediately and mailed his accumulated, cash rewards.
Pastoral care does not require education, degree, or experience. However, it does involve compassionate people who care deeply for those who are hurting. We may never know how much a simple word, text, call, card, or email may mean in another’s life.
A credit card representative helped me re-discover this simple truth.