Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why I'm friends with Rachel Held Evans and Dave Ramsey

A few days after I wrote about meeting Dave Ramsey, there was a crazy internet storm against him. Blog posts in response to a list posted on his website went viral. I don't agree with Dave Ramsey on everything and seeing things written in opposition of him doesn't hurt my feelings. But it did make me pause. I read a lot of things - some I agreed with and some I didn't. Some that were well-written and some that weren't.

The best part? One fabulous article was written by Rachel Held Evans, whom I also adore.

Irony? I met RHE on Saturday afternoon and Dave Ramsey on Monday. 
While I watched friends post, comment, and report articles on facebook, I began thinking, praying, and dreaming. Can I be friends with Dave Ramsey and Rachel Held Evans? I sure hope so!

I've been friends with Dave Ramsey for six years or so. I started listening to his radio show via the podcasts when I was a 25-year-old youth minister. I made very little money, had a whole bunch of debt and had no idea what to do about it. I went to bed scared that I wasn't going to be able to make ends meet. I ran out of money and lived on the financial edge. I was never without food nor did I ever lose my housing but I was always afraid and worried. I was one emergency away from homelessness.

Now, six years later, I'm debt-free, have an emergency fund, have my Masters degree, make a good salary and have a wonderful financial life. Most importantly, I go to bed with peace about our finances. I'm financially healthy because of the principles talk to me by Dave Ramsey. I know how to budget, I know how to live well beneath my means, and I know the importance of saving money. There are certainly other ways that I could've learned this - most of it is common sense, but I learned it through Financial Peace University. My parents never taught me how to be great with money and didn't set the best example. I'm embarrassed that I was an adult before I knew how to handle money.

I admire Dave Ramsey because of his financial expertise. I'm thankful that he taught me how to take control of my money. I am thankful that because of his principles I have freedom and peace in my life especially in the area of finances. I'm thankful that he taught my husband and I to be on the same page in terms of finances. I don't share his theology or politics. But that's okay! I don't require my financial adviser to share my theology. I'm thankful that he reads and interprets scripture, even if we don't agree.

I've been friends with Rachel Held Evans for about a year. I discovered her through her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood and in just a few pages I knew that her and I would be BFFs. When I heard that she would be speaking at a conference I knew I had to attend. I went to her keynote session and sat as close to the front as I could. There was some murmuring around me because she was making some people uncomfortable. I stayed the whole time and loved absolutely everything that she said. When it was time for her small room session I got there early and got a seat as close to the front possible. I'm so thankful that there is a woman with great theology who is encouraging denominations and Christians everywhere to live according to Scripture. I agree with her theological interpretation and admire her work very much. She's rocking the boat for Christians everywhere because she's raising the expectation that we're actually supposed to live like Christ. That means caring for the poor. That means loving the outcast. That means making room at the table for people that are not like us.

I think Rachel Held Evans has fabulous theology. Her interpretation of Scripture challenges me and resonates in me. The way that she read scripture is very similar to the way I read scripture. I love to read her books because I agree with her. She makes me feel really smart. I also wish that I had come up with some of her ideas before she did. I'm sure that we don't agree on everything. We may not agree on how to handle our finances. We definitely don't agree on what to call our husbands. I've never called Jarrod master!

I am thankful that I live in a world where Rachel held Evans and Dave Ramsey both have platforms to share their ideas. I'm thankful that they both read scripture and share their interpretations. I bet that they have challenged and encouraged a whole bunch of people. I hope they are encouraging people to read scripture and interpret it for themselves! As much as people want to think Scripture is clear - it is not. There is language, translation, historical context, authorship, and style to consider. Both Rachel Held Evans and Dave Ramsey are Christians who read scripture. They study. They live their lives according to it. But their lives look very different. Isn't that awesome? I'm so thankful that they're both trying their very hardest to live like Christ. Even though that looks different than the way I interpret my life to look like Christ.

We're all just doing our best.
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