This post is part of a series on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU). The following is my impression of small pieces of the class. For more, I highly recommend taking the class for yourself.
The final lesson in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University covers Baby Step 7: Build Wealth and Give. I walked away a little confused from this lesson. It comes at the end of the course and at the end of the baby steps, indicating it would be later in life. This is the context for Baby Step 7 – that as you near retirement, you have invested well enough to build substantial wealth and give much of it away. Ramsey also makes comments earlier in the course that he is going to teach you to become really wealthy so you can give your money away.
However, almost the entire lesson discusses the philosophical and theological support for managing money in a Biblical way. Ramsey discusses how we must view all of our assets as God’s – that we are simply managers of his stuff rather than owners of our stuff. He also provides the Biblical support for tithing and giving offerings.
The reason for this confusion is because we are really talking about two different things. Giving when you are in debt, working your way up the corporate ladder, and trying to feed a young family is categorically different from giving in retirement after building up substantial wealth. What you really need is to talk about giving and tithing both at the beginning and the end of the course, which would add another lesson, so I understand why Ramsey puts them together.