Summary: It can be a wild ride. It can be unruly and unreliable. However, as we learn to tame and train our money the ride to financial freedom is worth it!

Buck Wild

Pt. 1 - Taming

I. Introduction

I know you don't know this but I have a ton of experience with horses. I know it isn't obvious but I am equine expert! Now, to be honest I have only ridden a horse about 3 or 4 times in my life but in my teen years I read every book in the Black Stallion, The Red Stallion Island Stallion Series, Black Beauty, Black Velvet, National Velvet and every other book about horses I could find. My library card was filled up with books like these and then I found Louis l’Amour. I believe I have read almost every book he ever wrote. These books coupled with the countless John Wayne, James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Audie Murphy movies and the untold number of episodes of Gun Smoke, Bonanza and the Rifleman that I have watched, I surely have to be verified as a rootin tootin cowboy who is nothing less than an expert in horseflesh. Plus I slept at a Holiday Inn last night. Well maybe not. However, what I can tell you from all of these books and shows that you discover very quickly that although a wild horse may be the fastest horse, that does not mean that it’s the most productive horse. The wild horse was really undesirable to anyone that wanted to get stuff done. Cowboys were looking for reliable and consistent means of transportation and work. And although a wild horse may provide a flashy and fun to watch ride at a rodeo, the wild horse was not really welcome at the ranch or on the range when your life and livelihood was tied up in a good horse that you could count on and trust.

I have noticed that there is a parallel that can be seen with horses and our money. For the most part most of us want our finances to be consistent, stable, reliable and yet it seems for most of us our money anything but that. In fact, for most of us . . . our buck is wild. Out of control. Our money is the cause of stress, anxiety, and worry. All

you have to do is google money and stress and you find out some interesting things:

The APA’s latest Stress in America survey found that 72 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some time in the prior month.

New data from Northwestern Mutual's 2018 Planning & Progress Study found that money is the No. 1 cause of stress among Americans, according to 44 percent of survey respondents. Money is more of a problem than either personal relationships (25 percent) or work (18 percent).

We are stressing out because nearly 80 percent of Americans said they have debt. More than 45 percent of them have debt over $10,000 and 5 percent of them are more than $250,000 in debt.

And just to show you an example of how out of control and buck wild our finances are I recently saw that the average American in 2019 spent $86.27 on Halloween Candy. That is $8.8 billion on Halloween Candy alone! On Average Americans spend $1200 annually on fast food. That is $50 billion on fast food annually. World hunger could be stopped for 3 years with that much money!

It is easy to see that our buck is wild!

Wild doesn't equal evil. The truth is there is nothing evil about money. Scripture is often misquoted when we say that money is the root of all evil. The Word says it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. So, money isn't evil, but make no mistake about it money is powerful. Take a listen to what Jesus says as He addresses the power of money.

Matthew 6:24 (CEV)

You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

NLT - You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

The King James Version says you can't serve both God and mammon which means wealth, riches, or treasure.

Jesus makes this statement about money being one of two masters after He has just made this statement:

Matthew 6:19-21 (CEV)

Don’t store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will always be where your treasure is.

This is the crux of the issue that I want to look at today.

An interesting parallel between horses and money is that in order for a horse to be useful and productive it must be tamed. A horse expert, like myself, knows this is called breaking a horse. Breaking a horse prepares the horse to be ridden or harnessed. The same is true for our money.

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