Financial Awareness: It's More Than Just Numbers
Hello everyone!I have so many things I want to write about over the next few weeks but first, I want to share the wisdom I have gained on finances over the years. This won't be a financially technical blog. This is a blog about why we do some of the things we do. This is a blog about how we can change our financial outlook by understanding what is happening in our hearts.
Have you ever wondered why you can't seem to break out of a financial pattern? I have. In fact, I have been pondering this for the last few months. I had particularly been trying to figure out why I spent so much over time and why for many years, debt did not matter to me. What was going on? I had had enough! If you ask Jesus about the issues of your heart, He is quite perceptive (more so than you) and He has the answer.
One evening while sitting and pondering these things, Jesus turned the light on for me and it was bright! I had an epiphany! He showed me that my financial issues over the years had not been number issues, the lack of resources, nor the lack of teaching. My financial issues were actually issues of the heart. It all made sense! Let me explain this so it makes just as much sense to you as it did to me that day. I've written briefly in other blogs about the connection between pain and financial mismanagement, but today I want to expound on that. In my recliner that evening, the Lord showed me the connection between the void I'd been trying to fill with the stuff and experiences of life and my money mismanagement. You see I was trying to fill a Jesus void with things and places that only He could fill. I had spent money I did have and money I did not have to feel good about myself; all the while ignoring the very pain and lies that made me feel this way in the first place. I was looking for acceptance and satisfaction with myself in having money to spend. The more I spent and bought and experienced the more I needed to spend and buy and experience. It was what I like to call a sick cycle carousel to borrow a phrase from the band, Lifehouse. It just goes around and around and you go nowhere, and you certainly don’t fill any void. In fact, I became addicted to shopping to feel better about myself. That shopping incurred deep debt. The debt made me feel stuck and bad about myself again, so I just went and spent more. Do you see the cycle here and the addiction? I am in no way saying you don’t have to pay attention to what you have coming in and what you have going out. I am not saying you don’t have to budget. What I am saying is pay attention to your motives when it comes to money. Is it a tool or is it something else? Do you use it for good or do you use it to feel good? I used it to feel “good” about myself for along time. Now that I have a full understanding of what was happening in my heart, I will never look at money the same way again. I will also never misuse it again. Are you aware of how and why you spend money? I ignored the how and why for years because I needed to feel good about myself. Once I realized that Jesus had accepted me long ago for me and loved me, no matter what; money and things no longer needed to fulfill me. Once Jesus took the power of the lies I had believed for so many years; the addiction to spending was gone and the addiction to stuff was gone! It was as if some dense cobwebs had been cleared from my heart and mind. I could think clearly now about finances. I can’t explain it any other way! I can honestly say I wish I had allowed Jesus to do this sooner because I would have avoided a lot of financial mess. However, we live and learn, and we learn from everything that happens in our lives. If you are where I was, don’t kick yourself, be thankful! I have short and long-term financial goals now. I have never had those in my life! I can’t wait to see where this takes me in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years! I look forward to using the resources God has given me to serve Him and help others instead of using them for myself. I look forward to continued freedom from debt! And most of all, I look forward to telling others how they can be free too! Finances are more than numbers. Look at your heart. What pain or lies do you still hold on to? What is money to you? Are you using it for good or evil? Do you use to serve others or yourself? Only in the freedom that Jesus gives to the deepest places in our hearts, can you be financially free! Call to him and He will answer! He did this for me, and He will do this for you too!