There were a few comments left on my last post which got me thinking about a few other things This isn’t so much of a financial battle for me as it is a spiritual one. It’s hard for me to decide to ‘plan for the future’ when sometimes I think I don’t have a lot of room for that in my worldview. I don’t know how I feel about RRSP’s, savings bonds, investing in myself for later, personal equity and other things in that nature. I don’t want to demonize any of them, that isn’t my point, I do however want to tread lightly because I’ve seen firsthand what these types of decisions can do to someone, and while they are probably unaware of their present state it isn’t exactly that direction that I want to head towards.
Why would I invest in myself when there is people in need all around me? People say to invest now so I can give more later, but that doesn’t seem or feel right at all. Jesus didn’t seem to withhold giving someone to something because he wanted to keep it for himself so he could have lots and then decide to give it away at a later time. Then the question arises with what happens when I have kids? Shouldn’t I plan and save for their future so I don’t leave them out to dry? Or do I teach and train them how to survive and make wise decisions and teach them strong morals in how to look at money instead, or both/and?
I’ve had a few people mention to me the parable of the talents as a valid reason to get a mortgage or to save up for the future. I don’t think that the parable of the talents has anything to do at all with how we use money today and investing it into a bank account. In fact I’d be more inclined to read the parable of the talents as a reason for not getting a mortgage. The parable is all about using what they’ve been given wisely and in the time granted instead of sitting on it because of fear or what may happen. Here is a cool article on the parable of the talents that will send your head spinning. I’m just not convinced that this is the best argument for preparing for the future.
Jaci posted an interesting comment about ‘taking’ houses from lower income families by moving into the poorer neighbourhoods. Not sure where I stand with that one. I can understand it if all the Christians were taking up the subsidized housing in a city, but that argument really could be said about anything then. Why shop at Dollerama if we are taking cheap necessities away from those that need it? I’d be interested to hear if there was any examples of cities or areas where Christians were moving into them and grabbing them up before people in hard financial positions were able to attain them.
When it comes down to it, my uneasiness isn’t with saving money, or preparing for the future. All of those can be good and healthy things in the right context I think. I think the biggest thing that doesn’t sit right with me is getting debt. Achieving something I haven’t paid for and working towards paying it off over the course of fifteen years. Is debt/mortgages a healthy thing? Are they just the epitome of our culture that gives us what we want when we want it without ever learning to save. Or can they be good things? It’s not like the Bible says nothing about debt. Debt seemed to be a regular part of their lives (even though they have a seven year solutions to it). Is it OK for debt to be part of my life? Is it ok to get something before I can afford it? Any more thoughts?