2 weeks ago I received the statement of earnings for my previous year of employment. I was surprised at the number and asked my dear wife what she guessed my earnings were for 2008. Like me, she guessed a number about $5000 more than I actually made. Praise God!
According to national standards, my income fell below the poverty line and with my wife's part-time jobs we just edged over the line. But here's the joyous news:
1) We did not go into debt in 2008. We still remain debt free.
2) We were able to travel to IA twice (once by train, the other by car) and VA once (this time by plane).
3) We used very little savings.
4) As we look back, we never felt like we were in dire straits.
5) We joyfully followed Biblical principles in regards to tithes and offerings.
6) We refuse to accept state and national aid, knowing that others are in greater need than us.
1. We had no medical or auto emergencies in 2008. If a family was at the poverty line and hit those types of financial and emotionally draining emergencies, I don't think they could handle the hit without assistance from others.
2. I could not afford Denver Seminary without the scholarship I have.
3. I had a job that was willingly to work around my school and family schedules.
4. I had good health insurance from my employer and I only worked 30 hours per week. Not many jobs provide such a benefit. We were blessed to have this.
5. Without the wisdom and education we received up to this point in regards to finances, I do not think we could have been as fiscally responsible.
6. All along, we have a blanket of financial security. Both of our parents could bail us out in the advent of an emergency.
7. Poverty in America (and especially around the world) is a serious issue. We need to give money to help those in need. We need to offer education related to finances. We need to show compassion over against arrogance. Many people struggle with poverty not because they don't work hard enough, but because of reasons out of their control.