My weak spot is cars. After starting with nothing and becoming a millionaire the first time by age twenty-six, I had my heart set on a Jaguar. I “needed” a Jaguar. What I needed was for people to be impressed with my success. What I needed was family raising an eyebrow of approval based on my ability to win. I was so shallow to believe that the car I drove gave me those things. As I was going broke, losing everything, I kept the Jaguar by refinancing it repeatedly at different, friendlier banks. I even went so far as to get a good friend to cosign a loan so I could keep this image car. That is sick. I didn’t want to sell it and only came to my senses and sold the Jaguar on a Thursday morning because the bank assured me they would take it on Friday. 

I was so disgusted with myself when I woke up and realized the depth of my stupidity that I swore off my drug, cars. I went to abstinence, meaning I didn’t care what we drove or what it looked like as long as we were winning in our money makeover. Fast-forward fifteen years. We had become wealthy again, and I decided to get a different car. A friend in the car business called me with a deal—on a Jaguar. So all those years and tears later, when it was no longer the driving force of my approval rating, God allowed a Jaguar back into my life. He returned what the locusts had eaten, but He only did so when it was not my idol. Rumor has it that God doesn’t like us to have other gods in our lives. 

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. More than 1.5 million families have attended Financial Peace University in more than 30,000 churches nationwide. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Ramsey on Twitter and on the web at daveramsey.com.

Publication date: October 24, 2012