Insulate Yourself From Life Crises. Be Weird.

Before I was even old enough to get a learner’s permit, my dad let me drive his truck on part of the acreage we lived on.

For me, it was just pure fun.  For my parents though, it was all about helping me learn to operate a powerful machine long before I ever tried to with other drivers on the road.

It’s interesting how we spend an enormous amount of time doing things like learning to operate an automobile safely and having a home well-inspected before we enter a mortgage.  We’re intentional about things like this because we’re trying to decrease risk and insulate ourselves from crises.

So why don’t we practice this with our finances?  Why aren’t we as intentional about our marriages?  Why don’t we go to these lengths with our lives?  All things that carry much greater risk if they go wrong.

Normal is broke.  Most marriages end in divorce.  People work too much in jobs they hate, covet other people’s lives, and lack purpose.

As pastor Craig Groeschel says, normal isn’t working.  It’s time get weird.

Part of being weird in today’s increasingly secular, fast-paced society is to strengthen your relationship with God.  If you’ve never known God, find him.  Say a prayer.  Read a few Bible verses.  He’s been waiting on you so finding him won’t be difficult.

If you do know God, work on strengthening your relationship with him.  Let him in more.  Pray more often.  Take your anger, fear, joys and concerns to him with regularity not just on Sunday morning.  Give more of yourself to him.

Next, start taking steps to insulate yourself from crises.

Get Your Money Right

If you’re struggling with debt, which millions of people are, get help.  As a huge Dave Ramsey fan, I recommend enrolling in Financial Peace University.  Classes are starting all over the U.S. right now.  If you commit yourself to the 13-week course, you won’t just learn how to beat debt and build wealth, you will change your life and your family tree…forever.  This is a promise.

If for whatever reason you can’t do the course right now, but want help, contact me at joel@bluebridgecomm.com.  I’m not joking. MaryBeth and I are debt free because we learned how not to be, got out debt and are building wealth for the future.  And, get this.

We do everything we want in life like go out to eat at really nice places, travel overseas, shop and most importantly, give.  Financial discipline provides freedom, not the other the way around.

Work On Your Marriage

Marriage takes work.  We’ve all heard it.  Why then aren’t more of us doing it?  Guys, if you’d rather not be lumped into the 65% of men who commit adultery, work on your marriage.  Work less at work and more at home. Ladies, if you want to avoid being in the 55% of women who commit adultery, do the same.

Attend a marriage seminar every year.  Read a marriage book together and dedicate time every week to discuss the material. Schedule a weekly, or at a minimum, monthly date night.  Do not break the date!  And when you’re on the date, do not check your email, Facebook or Twitter feed.  I had to learn the hard way on this one.  Let my stupidity benefit you.

Treat your marriage like a job.  Be intentional about it.  It won’t grow itself just because it’s a gift from God.

Goal Set

Goal setting is not just for work.  It’s how we happen to life rather than life happening to us.  Goals are action steps toward living a full, rewarding life.  If you’re new to my blog, read this post on how to set goals.  There are right and wrong ways to do this.

While I could go on and on about how to be weird with more parts of your life, I chose money, marriage  and goal setting for a reason.  We’re all incredibly vulnerable in these areas because the minute we don’t respect them, we lose.

Money is an inanimate object. It does nothing, but remarkably we can make it do some of the most amazingly stupid things.  I swear we’re all magicians at times.  There’s a reason stress from money fights is the leading cause of divorce in the U.S.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Marriage is a sacred covenant given to us from God.  Choosing the football game over quality time with your spouse is not a tactic for honoring it.  Working 12 to 14-hour days every week followed by dinner in front of the TV every night is not how you get closer to your spouse.  Before too long, you both will have grown apart because one or neither of you did the work to stay close.

Putting life on cruise control, accepting the status quo and living completely unbalanced is a recipe for burnout, depression or at a minimum unhappiness.  Figure out why God put you here, and activate that purpose with well-defined goals.

So much of the time crises in these areas are totally self-inflicted.  We unknowingly work toward them until it’s too late.  Instead, let’s learn from millions of others’ mistakes and misfortune and take the necessary steps to help insulate ourselves from pain and suffering.  Let’s make 2012 the year we get weird.

Question:  How are you living a weird life?

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv. Meeting in multiple locations around the United States, and globally at Church Online, LifeChurch.tv is known for the innovative use of technology to spread the Gospel.  His book, Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working, can be purchased on Amazon.com.

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6 thoughts on “Insulate Yourself From Life Crises. Be Weird.

  1. These are such important parts of being “weird”. My wife and I just took the Financial Peace University classes and are working toward being debt free. Great job at making the choice to get debt free. Also my wife and I planned and set goals which will allow us to grow our marriage and as Christians.

  2. Great points. I love how you point out that following a budget doesn’t burden you but gives you freedom. I’ve found the same to be true in many areas of my life. And I love your point about treating marriage like a job. I know I’m guilty of letting that sit on the backburner. I take our close relationship for granted, and I have to admit that my wife is often the first area where I cut time and energy.

    • It’s so easy to trade your marriage for other things especially for task-oriented men who value working, being productive and making money. It’s so difficult to see marriage productivity as the same as traditional work productivity. Sometimes we have to fight “the best of intentions” and “other benefits” and look at the trade space, learn from others and predict what could happen in the future. Then make a decision. We have plenty of data to support that normal isn’t working! I remember talking with a close friend about him taking a new, higher-paying job that would lessen time with his family. This came after about 8 years of marriages when it becomes much easier to sacrifice family for something else. Ultimately, he didn’t take the job. I was thrilled he made the decision not to.

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