The American Dream has become a debt nightmare for many, even in the church. If we are honest with ourselves, we all want to own our own home, drive a good car and create a comfortable lifestyle for our family. Among the many goals we will set for 2007 as believers, it is very important that we set financial goals. Many Christians do not adopt this philosophy concerning their finances. They believe that all I have to do is go to church and pray and everything will be ALL RIGHT with my money. Well, that is partly true, but not the complete truth. The truth is God expects you to plan and He promises to direct you in the plan. The wisest and wealthiest man in the Bible said this, “If you PLAN and work hard, you will have plenty; if you get in a hurry, you end up poor.” (Proverbs 21:5 (CEV)) He also said, “A man may plan his course; but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 (AAT)) So we can see clearly here in scripture that God expects us to PLAN. One person said “if you fail to PLAN, you plan to FAIL.” Three (3) reasons why I should plan financially: 1. God expects me to play an active part in exercising my mind and abilities. 2. It helps to strengthen your control over life’s setbacks. 3. Planning is the biblical prerequisite for financial increase. Let us see how we can plan for our greatest financial year. In Christ, we should always expect the best and be prepared for the worst. We can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens us. These are steps that can be taken to assist you in your planning: 1. Spend less than what you earn. The only way to do this is to write and record your earnings and spending. Consumption is probably your “public enemy #1” concerning your money. Before every purchase ask yourself these simple questions: “Is this a need, want or desire?” Chances are it feels like a need but it really isn’t. If you can live without it, you probably should in order to either get out of debt or to spend less than what you earn. I remember several years ago, I purchased a car without a cassette player because I knew I could not afford it and I was trying to get out of debt. I thought that I could not live without a cassette player in my vehicle. Several months after I had purchased the vehicle, it occurred to me that I was doing fine without it. I found out then that there are some things you think you need, but you can save money if you do without it. 2. Avoid Debt. This year, you must avoid debt like it’s a plague. Debt will rob you of your future happiness. Write down all your debts and make a debt cancellation list. Be determined to eliminate debt. God wants his children sin-free and debt- free. In my workbook, “Creating Wealth in the New Millennium”, I give simple strategies on how to get out of debt and stay out of debt. When you devise a debt payment plan you are then and only then beginning to get serious about eliminating debt in your life. 2007 is a year of debt-release. 3. Build Liquidity. What this simply means is that you need to create more positive cash flow this year. Most Christians as I often say have “Cash No” or Cash Go”, but what you need is CASHFLOW. Controlling your spending is just the first step, but you also have to build your assets. If you are on a dead end job you need to discover your gift and let it make room for you. (Proverbs 128:16) The economic system today is not set up for 9-5pm workers to get ahead financially. It is modern slavery and bondage. If you sincerely desire and want financial freedom as a believer in Christ, then you must start your own business, or get involved with a Home-Based MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) direct selling business. Don’t quit your 9–5 employment until you have built your business to a place where you are self-sufficient. Real estate is also a way to build liquidity and increase your asset-base. Christians ought to have real estate; the earth is the Lord’s. (Psalm 24:1) 4. Finally, set short term and long term goals. Goals are your stepping stones to your dreams becoming a reality. The promise of God is if we delight ourselves in the Lord he will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:24) When you delight yourself in Christ, which means spend time in worship, prayer, fellowship, and giving to His work joyfully, generously and sacrificially, you have a right to set goals that will allow Him to provide for your NEEDS and DESIRES. I believe that these steps will assist you no matter where you are financially to have your greatest financial year. Post this page somewhere in your house so you can see it and be sure to attend our next “WORD on FINANCES” Seminar.
CEV – Contemporary English Version
AAT – The Complete Bible: An American Translation
Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson, II
Pastor and Certified Estate Planner