Thursday, January 17, 2008

We Firmly Believe

As I finish the “Faith & Finances” message series, I want to share the following testimony by Kris and Christy Bailey, a 30’s-something couple at West Houston. Enjoy. – Matt Soper (1/20/08).

About six years ago we were in a class taught by Steve Morris about finances from a biblical standpoint. As he talked one week about tithing, something he said rang home: the idea that we can do more with 90% of our money and God’s help than with 100% of our money on our own. We were really struggling with our finances and wrestling with how much we should be giving to the Church and other things.

We both had good paying jobs, but we had a bad habit of putting stuff on a credit card. Our mounting debt was drowning us financially. Before being in Steve’s class we had been convicted that we should really be giving more to the church, and we had set an eventual goal of 10%. While in Steve’s class we asked him if he could take some time to sit down with us and help us work out a budget and get the debt snowball moving in the other direction.

After this, we decided to put into effect the other part of the equation and begin giving 10% of our gross income to the church. This was a big faith leap because it didn’t work out on paper. Yet, almost from the get-go we began to see God blessing us in ways we hadn’t imagined. I got better than average raises at work and had the opportunity to work more overtime. When our son was born, Christy was presented with the opportunity to work contract from home, then was offered an even better paying job with another company with full benefits but still working from home. I eventually got six raises in five years at my last company, then was offered a job with a substantial raise at a company that I had wanted to go to work with for several years but had given up on.

I could tell you a great number of little stories along the way about how God has provided for us. And I can’t proclaim that we were miraculously delivered from our debt because although we have made great strides, it has been a long process and we are not free of it yet. But we have received many financial blessings along the way from God. Some of them have seemed truly miraculous and without explanation, others have been more concrete. But they have all come from God, and we firmly believe they are a product of our being faithful with our money and putting our financial life in God’s hands. Truly, we have been able to do FAR more with 90% (and even less sometimes) of our money with God’s help than we would have been able to do with 100% of it by ourselves.

-- Kris and Christy Bailey


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