Keeping the faith in financially stressed times
By Sherise Henry
Being a good soldier in our faith journey for God can come with its share of ups and downs. One of the more taxing situations to find yourself in as a Christian is financial hardship. Financial pressures have been linked to problems in the family including stressed out parents who don’t have time to spend with their kids because of work schedules, to arguments between husband and wife due to money problems, or how to manage it. KEEP THE FAITH. God never meant for us to borrow our way into financial ruin or have the pressures of this world bog us down to the point of depression. Here are three steps to take if you find yourself in need of a life jacket of hope to deal with the rushing waves of debt and financial stress.
REMEMBER WHAT THE WORD SAYS
The Bible gives us several Scriptures that we can relate to our financial dilemmas. Hebrews 13:5 states, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." When you’re overwhelmed in debt it can seem like the world is against you and you have no way out. God can increase your vision and problem solving abilities if you remain steadfast in your trust in him. 2 Corinthians 6:6:8 also encourages the heart, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." This Scripture serves as an answer to the question many believers have when they reach a financial crisis, “Should I stop tithing?” The word of God still proclaims a benefit for anyone who sows into the Kingdom of God placing the Kingdom first over the cares of the world.
MAKE A PLAN
CBN.com offers a teaching message on debt relief one article on the subject suggests making a written plan before making any purchases. A written plan is an absolute necessity for everyone who is in financial bondage. The article encourages a written plan for all expenditures in their order of importance. That plan should break down purchases in the order of needs, wants and desires. Needs are basic requirements, wants are the quality of those requirements and desires should only be purchased out of abundance. The article also provides a list of questions to ask yourself when writing your plan which include
Is it a necessity? Have I assessed whether it is a need, a want, or a desire?
Does the purchase reflect my Christian ethics? Can I continue to take magazines, encyclopedias, or book and record subscriptions while I owe others?
Is this the very best possible buy I can get, or am I purchasing only because I have this credit card?
Is it a highly depreciable item? Am I buying something that will devaluate quickly?
Does it require costly upkeep?
Once you’ve laid out your financial circumstance and goals it may be time to seek help from outside of the home. For the full article by Larry Burkett click here.
When you have done all that you know how the next step is to seek a higher source of knowledge. Whether your plan is to meet with a financial planner or study books by Christian finance experts like Dave Ramsey, the point is extra help is needed. The Bible teaches us that there is safety in wise counsel. It’s important to do your homework when looking for reputable persons to speak into your financial matters. You should always check with the Better Business Bureau before hiring a company that deals with debt management. You should also check for reviews or testimonies of persons who have had success with such persons. As believers we know that God can be Lord even over our finances. When seeking a supernatural solution to a very natural state of affairs it is important to allow our faith and discernment to guide our steps into climbing out of financial distress. Be encouraged.