Tim and Jenny Johanns
Tim and Jenny Johanns have been attending Living Word for almost 18 years. In January, 2009, Tim and Jenny began attending Dave Ramsey’s ‘Financial Peace University’ through Living Word. They had been studying financial principles and working to reduce their debt for quite some time prior to attending the class. When they started to balance their financial responsibilities, they felt guilty. They also felt as if they were struggling to do it all alone. They didn’t feel that they we’re making any progress. When the financial peace class was offered, Tim and Jenny decided to attend. They knew that it was God’s will for them to become debt free, and that He would honor their eagerness to learn.
Tim and Jenny had been seeking to reduce their debt prior to attending ‘Financial Peace University.’ Between 2006-2009 Tim had suffered a series of four layoffs. Though they tightened up their budget as much as they could, without steady income they didn’t seem to be making any headway in reducing their debt. The major thing that they had been struggling with was fear. The phone calls from creditors and their ensuing nightmares had placed such fear in Jenny that she went through periods without sleep; at times she struggled to breathe. In her own words she says, “It’s a tremendous feeling when you don’t have enough coming in to pay the bills.” Their other major struggles were guilt and condemnation. The Johann’s both tried to walk in faith and not worry about their circumstances, but Jenny had a hard time ignoring them. The enemy constantly filled their minds, attacking them with negative thoughts. Little did they realize, God’s freedom is both mental AND financial.
When the financial peace class was offered, Tim and Jenny were not familiar with Dave Ramsey but decided to go anyway. They diligently attended all thirteen classes. Before the first class, Tim reminded Jenny that they could not tighten up their budget anymore. She reminded him, though, that by attending the class, they were sowing one more seed towards eliminating their debt. They both believed that God would honor their diligence and eagerness to learn how to better manage their finances. Tim was right, though. He and Jenny were already doing many of the steps that were taught in the class, but they weren’t expecting all of the spiritual benefits they received by attending the class. The spiritual understanding they acquired set them free from all of the guilt and condemnation they had struggled with previously. Peace filled them as the teaching affirmed they were handling their finances correctly. A major source of frustration for Tim and Jenny had been their differing views on how their finances should be handled. Jenny was relieved to learn that Tim was doing right in providing for his family first, before putting finances towards their debt.
Once they became unified in their financial plan, Tim and Jenny had peace. They were able to sleep at night and found God’s favor at every turn: steady work, job opportunities, and further debt reduction.
Proverbs 31 says that a man is known at the gate. Jenny knew that a good credit score was a good reputation, so she began confessing “My man is known at the gate.” Within a year their credit score went up by over one hundred points. Tim and Jenny found that God allowed their circumstances to grow them and change them. Tim confesses that he found his faith growing as he learned how to rely on God’s promises of sowing and reaping, tithing and giving, instead of relying on his current circumstances. The Johanns’ also found great joy in the knowledge that if they remained diligent, they would eventually eliminate their debt, for God promises that the hand of the diligent prospers. Tim and Jenny now walk in victory and use the faith and diligence that they applied to their finances in every area of their lives.