Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Humility and Admitting You are not Self-Sufficient

Last week I accepted an offer that my mom and step-dad offered: give me a loan to pay off my credit cards so that I don't have to continue paying the ridiculous interest rates charged by the credit card companies. Some background: Ever since I've had a credit card, I paid it off in full every month. Every month, that is, until I moved to Virginia. The moving costs were significant, I didn't get paid right away when I started working, and the money in my bank account was used for security deposits, etc.  So anyway, I established some credit card debt buying groceries, some basic furniture and classroom supplies. I've slowly been chipping away at that debt, paying as much as I had left at the end of each just wasn't going down very much, though. My parents were generous and willing to give me money to pay it off in full and allow me to pay them back at a much lower interest rate.

My first thought when they offered this deal was, "That's not fair for them *at all*. It's my fault I have this debt, I just need to keep working to pay it off..." and several other thoughts along the same line. Then, when I started to think about actually taking the money, I thought about what percent interest they should charge me, and how much I should pay them each month in order to pay it off as quickly as possible. Basically, I continued to try to "figure out" and plan my way through every little detail.

Something that I've realized through this ordeal and decision to accept help from my parents, is that I have some pride issues in the area of independence and self-sufficiency. I don't think it's abnormal, to want to be independent from your parents when you're in your mid-20s, and to feel like you can support yourself and figure things out. I do think it's a problem, though, when the reasons I was considering not accepting this offer were because of my desire to not be dependent on my parents.

As a Christian, I'm not expected to be self-sufficient. The core of my belief system is that I *cannot* do anything in my own effort. It is only because God first loved me and sent Christ to die, paving the way for me to have a relationship with him. Why is it, then, that my first instinct with my finances is to think "I have to figure this out myself! I don't need anyone's help!" Arg. I'm learning to rely on people for the right takes humility.

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