This is the final article of a 4-Part Series: Part 1. God’s 5 simple practices for personal finance, Part 2. God’s 4 key money management principles , Part 3. 5 of God’s rules for preventing financial crisis.
You may or may not have followed these Godly practices and principles, or maybe life threw you some big curve balls, such as an extended job loss; so what does the Bible say about having a plan to get out of financial crisis? First of all, read the prior articles and make sure you are following God’s principles and practices. In addition:
1. Get counsel from many
This was covered already, but I am mentioning it again because few people do it. Don’t hesitate to talk to many people to get many perspectives for solutions out of your situation. This is hard for many people because of pride, but move past that and get many viewpoints, encouragement and prayer from them. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15), “…and fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
2. Be responsible with whatever you have – focus on the little things
During your financial crisis, focus on Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” The wisdom this verse provides is focus. With all of the issues you are dealing with, this will keep you grounded. Many people in extreme difficulty will find it easy to be uncaring about the little details, feeling it has gotten so bad that they find themselves asking the question, “What does it matter?” On the contrary, the Lord gives us a fresh start every day, and he wants to bless those who are good with management. For example, if you hired an investment professional and gave her $10,000 to invest on your behalf, and she returned 10%, you would probably want to give her more. On the other hand, if she lost money, you would not be inclined to give her more to invest. I think God works a little the same way; He is watching us, and if we are good with managing the little He gives us, He might be inclined to give us more.
3. Be content regardless of your circumstances
Financial difficulty can be one of the most stressful things that someone can go through; it is up there with illness, job loss, tax audit and death. Consider Philippians 4:11, 12: “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” We too can learn to be content and at peace even when in extreme financial crisis. The tragedy of difficulty is to endure it and not learn the lessons that God would have for us; one of the most valuable lessons will be to learn the secret Paul described, the secret of contentment in all circumstances because of the maturity we experience in our relationship with Christ.
4. Help others and be generous
When a great position of mine ended about 4 years ago, it was really tough. I continued to tithe to the best of my ability and I volunteered. Every Saturday morning for several months I helped out at an inner-city food pantry for selfish reasons. I knew helping people a lot worse off than me would help me on many levels, and it did.“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35)
In conclusion, remember to pray for miracles (2 Kings 4:1-7), and remember that God cares about those going through difficulty: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) You will get through this.