When I started my business over seventeen years ago, I watched every penny. Not surprising as I didn’t start with any capital investment. The company began with a prayer and an idea. During those first few years, I was diligent about monitoring my spending. I wanted to be financially responsible and make sure I didn’t get unto unnecessary debt.
However, as time went on, I lost that healthy fear and found myself using credit cards more and more. Whether it was paying for online purchases or other overhead costs, credit-cards became the go-to form of payment. Eventually, the lines became blurred.
During downturns in the business, I started leaning on cards to carry us through. I convinced myself it was a “temporary loan” and that I would pay it off when the statement came in. This strategy worked the first few times, but little by little, the balance started to grow. Unfortunately, in time, the little added up to a lot.
I found myself playing the “balance transfer” game for some time until I finally ran out of options and had to face the fact. I was in debt and needed to get out. Looking back, I realize the problem stemmed from misplaced faith and poor business decisions. I erroneously thought that all I had to do was pray hard enough and have enough faith for God to deliver me from this problem.
What I learned was that although God does want us to live by faith, He also commands us to be responsible and do our part. He’s already equipped us with the skills, knowledge, experience, counselors, and an array of tools to succeed. We must do our part to use them responsibly.
I eventually came out of that crushing debt, but it took many years and sacrifices. What changed first was my attitude, then my approach. The first step was asking God to forgive my irresponsible behavior. Then, I prayed for wisdom and discernment to make difficult decisions. Lastly, I committed to continue giving God my first fruits, regardless of my financial status. God answered those prayers and, along the way, also blessed my efforts.
There’s only one person we should be indebted to, God.
Answer and Journal the Following
Read and meditate on 2 Chronicles 1:10-12.
What’s your view of money and finances? What comes to mind first? Be real; be honest.
If God is not first in that view, pray and ask Him for wisdom and the courage to handle your finances His way, not yours.
Bonus: Share this with a fellow brother and have them hold you accountable.