Purses With Holes

Guest Post by Marybeth Whalen

Haggai 1:5b-6, “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

For a long time, I believed that stuff could make me happy. I fell victim to the “never enough” mentality that is prevalent in our culture. I wanted more, more, more. If I got the outfit, I had to have the shoes. If I got the shoes, I had to have the earrings, and on it went. It was never-ending and left my soul exhausted. It was like being in a revolving door but never finding the entrance. I was looking for happiness in all the wrong places, accepting the world’s solutions to a spiritual condition.

My husband had the same condition, unfortunately. He also believed that the right name brand and the right purchases would somehow lead us down the road to happiness. We were a dangerous duo as we indulged in foolish purchases we couldn’t afford and sunk deeper into debt. One time I remember deciding to decorate our bathroom in a “golf” theme. In order to get all the right accessories, we headed to a department store and bought a decorative trashcan that cost $25. For a trashcan! On credit! I still have that trashcan—with the price tag still stuck to the bottom—to remind me of the depths we once sunk to.

Those price tags added up over time—amounting into crushing debt. The credit card statements stacked up and our finances were out of control. My husband and I looked to the world for answers but found none. A consumer credit company advised us to declare bankruptcy. We felt hopeless. I could almost hear Satan laughing over his own joke. “Ha!” he hissed. “They bought it!” And bought it, we had. Literally.

The verse from Haggai says to give careful thought to our actions. This was truly our first step in digging out of debt. We had to step back from the situation and assess first how we got there. We had to look at our attitudes about material things, and examine our heart condition. We had to learn from God where true joy and peace can be found. We had to stop believing the lie that things would make us happy and embrace the truth of what storing up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19) and not on earth really means.

Then we had to assess how to get out of debt. We had to set measurable objectives to knock out our debt piece by piece. We had to become singularly focused and unified in our quest to eliminate debt and stop our bad habits. We had to get to a place of willingness to let go of our pride and our expectations. We had to be willing to do whatever it took for as long as it took. Digging out of debt had to be about complete surrender and committed sacrifice, or it never would have worked.

We had to stop putting our money in purses with holes. We had to let go of the mentality of “never enough” and say to God, “You are enough.” Our journey to debt free living has been as much a spiritual journey as a financial one. It has allowed us to be more unified as a couple on a lot of levels. Once you learn how to talk about money, you find other conversations are much easier as well.

Was it easy? No. Was it quick? No. And yet, it has resulted in blessings we could not have imagined. If you are in debt and want out of the “never enough” mentality, I urge you to stop putting your treasure in purses with holes. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your life on so many levels.

Proverbs 23:4-5, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

Marybeth and Curt’s new book Learning To Live Financially Free can be ordered at Amazon.com or Proverbs31.org.

Check out their blog at www.marybethandcurt.blogspot.com for money saving tips and information about living financially free.


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One Response to Purses With Holes
  1. Blessed
    April 10, 2009 | 10:39 am

    Excellent post – and exactly right. We’ve been there, done that and are well on our way to financial freedom, it’s an awesome feeling.

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