“Growing old is not an option. We don’t have a choice. But we do have choices that will greatly affect our quality of life for the rest of our life.” Henry K. Hebeler, 

Bill and I finally made it to our financial planner’s office for the first time. Our retirement plans had been on our mind. It was time to take responsibility for our financial future. I’m still kind of amazed at how nervous I was. I think Bill was nervous too. Earlier that day, we visited the Social Security Administration office to get an online account set up so we can access our information at any time and to have a print out of what our Social Security benefits may be when we retire. 

Afterwards, Bill and I sat with Aaron, our financial planner, for 90 minutes. He asked for our current numbers. We put numbers into a projection formula. I honestly felt like I was doing a good job saving and investing for my retirement. I started saving more than 20 years ago. I will also receive a ministerial pension from the United Methodist Church. But, Aaron showed us a projection graph that made my stomach tie up in knots. I saw a lot of red toward the right side of screen. That red symbolized my shortfall. It didn’t matter if I thought I did a good job. I missed the mark. 

We needed to make some changes.

Aaron told us the truth. He also gave us some much needed financial advice. We could make some adjustments now that would impact us positively in the future. So, Bill and I made immediate adjustments where we could. We now think differently. We pay attention to financial news. We met some amazing people whose hearts are truly in the right place and want to see us succeed well into our mature years. I also know that I am at the beginning of the financial journey and want to learn all I can to be a good steward of the resources God has entrusted to me.

I recognized a distinct parallel with my spiritual life. 

I think most of us believe we’re doing a pretty good job when it comes to being a devoted, connected and generous follower of Jesus. In our own minds, we consider all the good things we do and some of us have done for years. I wonder if any of us would have the courage to go in for a spiritual review. It might be interesting to sit down with Jesus for 90 minutes now to get the truth. Imagine listening to Jesus talk with us about how we lived our lives to this point. As someone who truly cares about us and our future, he would tell us the truth. He would encourage us to make some adjustments now that could have an enormous impact for eternity. These little changes don't just impact you but your family, loved ones, friends. I believe Jesus may even challenge you to think about impacting your enemies.

We begin a new series this Sunday called Money Myths. 

What if we all had the courage as a community of faith to do a financial, spiritual and relational assessment? Jesus gave us some very profound counsel from his message encapsulated in chapters 5-7 of Matthew’s gospel. If you have been with us for the January Clean Slate series, you know that Matthew has a special place in all our hearts as someone who accepted the invitation to follow Jesus and his life was utterly transformed. Matthew was a tax collector. He was very good with numbers and finances. I believe Matthew has some very cool insights into money, life, Jesus and transformation. Don’t miss church Sunday. It’s an honor to welcome our Boy Scouts to worship with us. They will have an active part in our worship at the Naperville campus this weekend.

‘When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.’ Matthew 7:28-29 NIV

-Pastor Jen

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AuthorMolly Sommer