What is Financial Freedom?
Perhaps you remember your first significant job right out of high school, college or seminary. I certainly do. It was one of those “entry level” jobs where experience was gained, but the paycheck was nothing to brag about. Somehow my wife and I managed to survive. Of course there was no wiggle room. Yet, at no time did we ever question even once the importance of being faithful to the Lord through our local church. Our giving actually exceeded the monthly amount we had available for the food budget. Our table never lacked what we needed. At that point, financial freedom was not even in our vocabulary.
The reality of freedom is it creates possibilities that would not otherwise be an option. The lexicon defines it as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” This is a condition that has been sought by humankind throughout the ages. In the realm of finances, it can be a liberating experience bringing a level of life satisfaction that is meaningful and fulfilling.
Money in and of itself is a commodity to be managed. Those who master the practice of wise earning, spending and saving of this resource are those who experience this desired state of financial freedom. These are folks who have “margin” in their finances. This means they have the wonderful opportunity to bless others, including God’s work, with their accumulations without concerns to cover their own needs. A generosity lifestyle enriches the life of those individuals and families who find themselves in this enviable situation.
By no means does the pursuit of financial freedom mean we do not seek to live in the here and now giving as generously as we can. Few are the young adults and couples who experience this circumstance of financial freedom at the beginning of their working years. However, sound money management, consistently applied through a number of years, ushers disciplined Christ followers into this territory of financial freedom. Dave Ramsey says that money is not just about math. It is about behavior. It is our behaviors with money that can get us into the biggest trouble or lead us into the biggest successes. Young and more mature alike, take heed. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). A rewarding element of the life fully lived is the joy of thriving in a state of financial freedom.
- What steps are you taking to put you on a road to financial freedom?
- To what degree do you feel you are living a generosity lifestyle?
- What is there about blessing others that blesses you?
Gary L. Crowell, CPA, CCA, ACC
Chief Financial Officer
Tarrant Baptist Association
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