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The Saved Effect

Have you ever experienced a fresh, straight out of the baptismal pool, saved, sanctified, and filled with the holy ghost Christian?

You know...The one that used to be heavy in the streets - like heavy, heavy. The one that was never hesitant to tell you where you could take Jesus and stick him. The one who referred to your pastor as a pimp and the church as his... I digress. You get my point - LOl!

Yeah, that friend, family, member, or associate.

Once that person got saved, they didn't want to talk about anything but Jesus. They wanted to tell you how you are not living right or how much you need Jesus. They may have even told you that heaven and hell are real and that they don't want you to go to hell. While, the entire time, you are thinking in the back of your mind, "Wasn't I the one trying to get you to go to church for the past 10 years?"

I call this the "Saved Effect."

If you were this person or experienced this person, you realized, at some point, how annoying that person is. Instead of ushering you to the throne of the cross, they were actually pushing you further and further away.

We do the same thing with personal finances!

Some of us were once in debt up to our eyeballs, living paycheck to paycheck and constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul. Then, all of a sudden, you had a heart change. You decided to get your finances in order. You cleaned up your credit and started investing. Now that you've been anointed with the divine healing power of the budget, you feel called to share the good news.

Now you tell people how they don't need that latte or that credit cards are the devil. In fact, you've become so passionate about your beliefs that you no longer see people. You only see the waywardness of their awful spending habits.

They need to be saved like you, right?

You might be well-intentioned in your efforts, but remember that you were once in a place where you did not want to hear all the useful financial advice that had been offered to you over the years. You wanted to live your life, on your own terms, without interference.

Why didn't you listen? Why couldn't you hear? Why did you resist change?

It could be several things, but someone trying to pester you into submission more than likely did not change your heart. As with listening to an overly zealous person about their faith, you probably felt further - not closer - to God after the conversation ended.

So, yes, you might be right that some people need to improve their financial behaviors; however, people don't change because of what we say. They change because of what they see us do. As in, they see us consistently and joyfully living the life they hope for. They see our peace, calm, patience, experiences, and generosity. They see us as the type of person that can be confided in without judgment and pretense. They see us as a symbol of hope and the evidence of faith.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Saint Francis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel everywhere. When necessary, use words."

Instead of preaching at people and using every opportunity to tell them what they are doing wrong with their money, try speaking to their soul by walking in your financial convictions, not by attempting to induce theirs.

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1 Comment

Oh Michael. Excellent illustration. As a finance professional I am often put off by the way some financial professionals behave in the manner you have described in this article. Empathy. Meeting a client or individual where they are and not projecting where they should be is sometimes forgotten. Thanks for sharing.

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