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I can still smell the beige leather interior in that gorgeous red Cadillac CTS. Ahhh. Let me tell you, she was a sweet car.
That car was too nice for me to own. I didn’t deserve it, and I shouldn’t have spent money on something so…extravagant. At least that’s what I thought. Have you been there? I think most of us have. Sometimes buyer’s remorse is justified. But other times, it leaves you with uncertainty in the pit of your stomach.
So was my purchase too extravagant?
Whether that car was too nice or not had nothing to do with the car. It did, however, have everything to do with my financial circumstances at the time. What might be too extravagant for one person’s budget is a drop in the financial bucket for someone else’s budget. And based on my financial position at the time, there was nothing wrong with me buying that car.
Too bad I didn’t understand that back then!
I had been challenged my whole life to work hard and succeed, and I was finally seeing the results of years of good decisions. My wife and I were out of debt. We had several months of income saved in an emergency fund. We were contributing 15 percent of our income to retirement. We were tithing. And I paid for that beautiful red car in cash! Yet guilt made me take it back.
What’s that about, anyway?
The pressure I was feeling was not the Holy Spirit, that’s for sure. It was social pressure that stems from a modern-day version of a belief that’s been around for thousands of years: Gnosticism. In a nutshell, Gnosticism says that only spiritual stuff honors God. That means the material things our financial success can buy are never okay—regardless of a person’s circumstances. Sounds a lot like our culture...
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