Since beginning this financial journey to being debt free and educating myself on the process, I’ve had an itching revelation on the thought process of how we see money and what it does to our lives. Specifically I have had a change in my mind of how many christians allow themselves to become victims of what I can best describe as “the wait”.
The wait is a promise, a preached message, a word of encouragement that is nice to the ears but ultimately does nothing because the actions of the individual receiving the message doesn't change. And so they wait for these blessings and promises that almost never come. I’ve heard it before and I still hear it all the time - “This is your season, God is going to rain blessings from heaven in your life, you’re going to be rich, God’s going to give you that house, that new car, that new job with the higher income….so on and so on”. And we eat it up like our favorite chocolate treat, go home, and do nothing different.
You can pack a church wall to wall with these messages. You show up early for this word, you scream and shout and claim it. You go home and quote the scriptures of abundance into your day and share it to the world how it's your season and big things are heading your way......
So there’s this scripture in the Bible, James 2:17 to be exact, that quite simply states “faith without works is dead”. This literally means what it says. There is a more in depth explanation prior to this scripture explaining that simply having faith or telling someone to have faith doesn’t, in itself, provide the person with what they are seeking.
Since this financial journey started, I’ve become frustrated with myself and with those who spread such messages of financial promise, because just about every single message does not include the how and what is needed to make this blessing come to fruition. If you can’t pay your bills because you are financially irresponsible then guess what - God is not going to bless you with a brand new car! And if you got a brand new car, that’s not a blessing from God because adding to your financial hell is not biblical. Ouch right!?
The fact that MasterCard decided that they would “bless” you with a $1000 credit card so you can now buy new furniture or go on that vacation is not God raining down blessings on you from heaven. That’s called debt boo - so please keep that testimony to yourself. James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”.
Much of America is in debt. Many people are stressing themselves out and working themselves to the bone to pay their credit card bills, car loans, mortgages, and fund lifestyles they simply cannot afford. A funny story for you that happened recently, someone Carlos and I know called to basically gloat that they were eating lobster for dinner. The funny part was that their kids barely have decent clothing, most of which is stained or has holes in them and frankly Carlos and I know this person is not in any sort of financially comfortable position. But in that moment, with their lobster, they felt they were doing so well. It’s a lie.
We cannot be a blessing if we always need the blessings. I cannot donate money to a cause or help out a friend or stranger with a financial burden if I myself have financial burdens. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. And if we are to spread messages of encouragement we should also include wisdom with those messages. How about God will bless you financially when you start paying your bills. Stop running to the mall every other Friday to max out your store card like you have big pockets, but then pay the minimum balance when the bill comes in and be bitter at your job because you “need” a raise to pay for all your irresponsibilities.
It is our fault, but it is also how we’ve been raised to think. Many of us grew up in households with debt. It’s our normal, or at least it has been for me. There’s a snippet of Dave Ramsey’s book that sticks with me when I think about my credit score. “The only way to have a good credit score is to go into debt, stay in debt, and pay your accounts perfectly - without adding too much debt or paying too much off. In other words, stay in debt for as long as you can.” Since day one you were probably told that you can’t have anything in life (house, car, etc.) without first having good credit. ::cue the credit card applications:: This is where I smile now, because I think to myself what a line of bull crap - and how did I believe this for so long!?
Don’t be a victim to the wait. If you’re going to shout Amen and run the aisles on Sunday because someone told you God is going to bless you financially - receive it, go home, and put in the works. Your debt problem is not God bringing you through a storm - you did it to yourself, own it - fix it.
Photo by: Frank Mckenna