Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? Luke 14:28 NIV
As Believers, we strive to enrich our spiritual relationship with God. We share many common goals with the most important goal of desiring Eternal Life. Even so, many hear the Word of God through sermons, and study the scriptures; however, there is a breakdown in the practical application of the Word to our daily lives.
Since retirement, I have had a lot of time on my hands for reflection of my life: successful ventures; failures mainly due to lack of knowledge; accomplishments; storms (trials); disappointments; and deliverance. In addition, to everything that I have personally experienced, my nursing career allowed me to interact with patients/clients at the weakest and most troubled times in their lives. My career afforded me the opportunity to be exposed to the worst of humanity’s struggles.
In 2017, I prayed for God to reveal my purpose in life, and I have been studying, researching, and blogging from the perspective on how we can apply spiritual knowledge to the practical aspect of our daily lives.
A major focus of our times is the self-inflicted and overwhelming stress from the accumulation of Consumer Debt.
According to Fidelity, there are two types of debt based on the form of debt repayment: Installment debt, like a home mortgage, car loan, or a student loan, which you pay back over a set period of time, and Revolving debt, like credit cards, which you potentially can carry for the rest of your life. May 10, 2018
It is the revolving debt, mostly from impulsive expenditures, that is out of control in America. “Revolving debt, the bulk of which is credit card balances, hit $1.027 trillion in March of 2018.” Federal Reserve
I read a blog this morning on Debt Management that was heart-wrenching. All of the recommendations involved using companies that would charge monthly fees for services that appear to get you on the right track for debt relief. However, it was another monthly debt…would it be the straw that broke the camel’s back?
I am sharing my response to the article:
If you never learned financial management skills because they were not incorporated as family values then most likely you have unnecessary debt.
There are credible Online Financial Management courses available for $25. I have nothing against entrepreneurship; however, the point of financial management is to learn from a credible source, not to spend your remaining cash to pay for a course by a popular individual or company.
Tracking all expenses is a priority. It takes the development of achievable goals, planning, interventions, and ongoing evaluation of progress.
1. Always look at your expenses from a yearly perspective. Your daily $5 latte is costing $1825.
2. If you must have a credit card, then Close all of your Credit Cards with the exception of one for emergencies, especially if you do not have a fund set aside for unexpected expenses.
3. Discipline and Self-Control are character traits that can be acquired at any point in life.
You are the key to your financial success or failure.
I am not an expert on financial management. I know the facts by seeking forgiveness—yes, at one point, I wasted resources that were given to me by God. I track every penny that leaves my hands–hasty decisions always lead to regret. I practice temperance-self control by limiting my purchases, and the practiced discipline has trickled down into every aspect of my life.
1. The first step is to pray for guidance and insight on how your funds are being depleted.
2. Phase 1: Declutter your home; how many clothes, shoes, and collections are in bags, or hidden from plain sight?
3. Phase 2: Declutter again…it is only the basics that you need in your life.
4. Divide the excess: Sell cheap (if you must) and donate to local churches or nonprofits.
Are you beginning to ask yourself how decluttering and donating is related to financial management?
The traits of selfishness and greed lead to the tendencies to accumulate and possess above and beyond what we need.
It is a humbling act to take your possessions and to donate to those in need.
I can promise you that personal and spiritual growth will occur; in fact, you will experience a major change in your perspective of life.
Do your part and God will begin to resolve your financial problems. It is us who must see life through spiritual eyes, and that will only occur with a complete transformation.
Challenge for today: Give, and keep giving until you have just enough!
Verse for today: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Matthew 6:24
Prayer for today: Dear God: My life is out of control, especially my desire to spend and waste your resources. I need a complete transformation in order to possess a clean heart and a renewed spirit. I am asking for your strength as I make the most needed change in my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz
Part 2 of this series will publish on 2/18/2019.