Back in the early 1990s I was paying down my mortgage as fast as I could given my resources. My logic at the time was if I keep my tax deduction by continuing to pay on this mortgage for the full 30 years, I will be giving the bank $3.00 so that I can receive a $1.00 tax refund. How about if keep the $3.00? Even though I will have to give the Government an extra $1.00, I will get to keep $2.00. Some of my coworkers ridiculed my decision. They said, “Don’t lose your tax deduction.” In fact some of them suggested it might be a good idea to take out a second mortgage to invest in the stock market for higher returns. My suspicion is most of them did not invest that money in the stock market. Instead I’m willing to bet they used the increasing value of their home to buy or lease that new SUV I noticed parked in their driveway. I have never regretted that decision for even one minute. For most of us paying off that mortgage will be the biggest single raise you will ever receive in your life. Talk about freedom. What could you do with an extra $1,000 a month? I didn’t think to ask a very important question until much later. If investing in pets.com was such a good idea, why would the banks lend you money at a lower rate of return than they could get from that famous dog sock puppet? The company is long gone, but you still see the puppet from time to time. There is a battle for your mind. Powerful forces, economic, political, and religious all want to keep you ignorant, confused, and blind. This is about control. They want to keep you enslaved. Anytime anyone asks you to sacrifice your money or your freedom, be suspicious. The bank is not giving you $30,000 because they believe you deserve to enjoy a new car. Advertisers are not spending up to $4.0 Million for a 30 second television commercial just because they are bored. Although, it appears there is a bit of ego involved in some of those Super Bowl commercials. The banks, the politicians, and the television networks all want to keep you deluded, lost in a dream of their creation. They do not want you to wake up. They do not want you to know the truth. They do not want you to be free. I keep coming back to this subject. Perhaps I am more aware of this today due to the revival of ancient ethnic and religious divisions in the Ukraine. Perhaps it is because I have seen a dangerous escalation of political rhetoric in my own country. Anytime anyone encourages you to consider their political opponent as less than human, run away. That is always the first step on the road to death camps. It is much easier to kill something that is not human. Anger and hatred never lead to freedom. They never lead to enlightenment. Here are some statements that should cause you to question the motives of a leader or a celebrity commentator. It certainly is not an inclusive list. This time it’s different.
We have to do this for the children.
It is a crisis of global proportions.
We must act today.
We must kill the (fill in the blank) to keep them from destroying our way of life.
It’s an issue of national security.
There are also lines of reasoning that should make you nervous, such as the infamous yes set.
Do you love your children?
Do you love your country?
Do you love Jesus?
Then support my efforts to (fill in the blank).
In matters that touch upon questions of personal finance, look out for three warning signs fear, greed, and envy. Anytime a salesman, politician, or religious leader is attempting to generate any of those emotions in your mind, he does not have your best interests at heart. We are told, “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and a sound mind.” The purpose of this blog is financial freedom. Each of must answer the question, “How much is enough?” in our own heart, remembering that, “He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house.” Sometimes it is hard not to envy another’s gifts, beauty, or success. Nevertheless remember, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Instead of counting your neighbor’s blessings, try counting your own. That is the better way.
Let me ask God for a Micah 4:4 blessing for each of you and for your house.
“Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.”
Just for today, wake up. Peace and freedom are a possibility.