After just watching the movie Maxed Out, as well as having volunteered at low-income schools and with the local homeless population, I am realizing more and more how many people in the world are in need of help with finances. The main thing that I took away from the movie was that there are many people in this world who are suffering with finances so much that they are actually willing to commit suicide in order to deal with the pain.
The film blamed the credit card companies for family debt. It's true, they are a greedy bunch who get the majority of their profits from feeding off those who are uneducated. However, it is a two-way street. Those uneducated people are actually responsible for their actions. And that is what makes me so sad. I feel sorry for those that get suckered in, making mistakes when they really don't know any better.
God has blessed my life with financial resources. My parents have been great examples showing the importance of saving money, my father has taught me much wisdom regarding financial responsibility, and I happen to live in a country where it is relatively easy to get a well-paying job. Jen and I certainly are having our fair share of money problems recently, but we have always paid our bills on time and have great credit ratings. If we borrow money from someone, we make sure to pay them back. We have a budget and keep track of where every single dollar and penny goes. We often are living paycheck-to-paycheck, but I still believe that we are very rich indeed.
Jesus tells us that we must be good stewards (Luke 12:42-48). He says that of those who have been given much, much will be required of them. Right now, Jen and I don't have much money to give away. I certainly wish we did. That is one thing that I keep telling Jen repeatedly, "When we have more money, years from now, I want to give it away to people who really need it." Thankfully, she shares my passion for helping those who are less fortunate.
But what do we do now? All of our money is going to savings and paying back student loans. When I think of people in our neighborhood who don't know how to be financially responsible, it makes me think of something that I can give others: my time. Right now I am training to be a school teacher. What better resource can I have to share with others than by teaching them? I can teach others about how to budget money, how to save, and how to pay off debt.
This is what the church is for. The church is supposed to be a group of Christians that help out the people in the community who are in need. So many more Christians ought to be giving their time and/or money away to people in need. That is what Jesus told us to do (Mark 10:17-31). I love teaching kids and I am excited to be a school teacher soon. However, this financial crisis is a big weight on the shoulders of parents and I want to help them too.
I don't have anything else to say...I'm just going to post this and then search online for ways to help through my church and through my community. I hope that you'll find ways to help those less fortunate than yourself too. You can do it! There are so many out there who need your help!
Image from planyourspending.com