Friend and freelance writer Les O’Dell shares this diary entry from the 13th and final session of Financial Peace University discussing what types of life insurance you may need. FPU is 13-week course from national talk-show host Dave Ramsey.
Next to the lesson on dumping debt, week 13’s teaching was my favorite. Despite an absolutely horrible night weather-wise (severe thunderstorms), my wife and I were looking forward to the evening. We were excited about finishing up Financial Peace University and wanted to hear what Dave Ramsey had to say about giving. We were not disappointed.
Tonight’s lesson was, in many ways, the goal for us. Based upon Baby Step Seven: Build Wealth and Give, the title of the lesson was “The Great Misunderstanding”. Ramsey said in the teaching for the evening that the reason for the title is that there is a great paradox when it comes to giving. He said that contrary to popular belief, the way to have more is not by holding on tightly, but rather having an open hand and giving.
A Change in Attitude
In giving, Ramsey taught, people tend to become less selfish. The result, he said, was that less selfish people tend to prosper more in relationships and in wealth. He said that understanding tonight’s lesson was very important: while a student can prosper by following all of the other lessons, it is only by giving that a person can truly have financial peace.
Lessons from the Bible
Tonight’s lesson spoke most clearly to those of us who are Christians. Ramsey taught the Biblical principles of tithing and stewardship. He said that in our giving we are more Christ-like and because we are designed in God’s image, we are happiest and most fulfilled when we are serving and giving.
More from GFC, Below
He taught that giving is a reminder of who actually owns everything, it is a form of praise and worship and he likened giving tithes and offerings to spiritual warfare. He concluded the lesson and the course by saying that financial peace is more than just God’s system for understanding money, becoming debt free and building wealth. Financial Peace, he said is when The Great Misunderstanding is truly understood.
At that point in the evening’s lesson, my wife nudged me with her elbow and pointed outside. The storm clouds had lifted, the sun was shining and there was a beautiful full rainbow in the eastern sky. I got the point. I understood.
We had completely finished Financial Peace University. Through the 13 weeks we had learned a lot and reconsidered many of the decisions we had made with money. We came away from the class inspired and ready to tackle our finances and to begin making better decisions.
Financial Peace wasn’t everything I had hoped for; it was much more. The course was entertaining, educational and motivational. It was a great experience and an investment I’m very glad we made.
Les O’Dell is a freelance writer living in Carbondale, Ill. His work can be seen in a number of newspapers, magazines, publications and websites. He is co-author of the popular “He Said, She Said” newspaper column. He can be found on the web at www.lesodell.net. Les is not affiliated or endorsed by LPL Financial.