Take Charge of Your Finances and Build a Strong Financial Foundation
"Set your house in order!"
Those were the words the Lord spoke to King Hezekiah, who was sick and near death. God's exact words were "Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live" (2 Kings 20:1 NKJV). In response to the grave news, King Hezekiah wept bitterly, praying for God to heal him. He cried, "Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart and have done what was good in Your sight" (2 Kings 20:2 NKJV). In response, God acknowledged the king's sorrowful tears and prayer, agreed to heal him, and add 15 years to his life.
However, the king never revisited the entirety of God's word, which began with "Set your house in order." I understand that the weight of death seems a lot heavier than the weight of one's financial affairs, but once the weightier matter was addressed with the promise and manifestation of healing, the king should have considered the chaos brewing in his treasury.
Like it or not, we all have blind spots. Even if we are faithful in our service to God, walking before Him in truth with a loyal heart, does not mean that we are good financial stewards.
At the height of my homeless ministry, I devoted $30,000 of my annual salary to providing for the needs of the homeless. A few short years later, I was homeless!
I was a faithful tither and operated a homeless ministry. I wholeheartedly participated in giving tithes and offerings to the work of God. When hard times came, we lost everything, including the roof over our heads and our vehicles. Everything that could be shaken, was shaken. I felt resentful that I had given my finances to help others, and in my time of need, no one offered to help me.
I fell for the Church's prosperity message, which wasn't a lie, but it wasn't the truth either.
I'm still a tither. I still give generously to charities that align with my values. The difference between now and way back then is that I actively work to set my house in order.
A tithe is a tenth. The Church harps on giving a tenth of your income to "God's work", promising that God will bless you with wealth and riches if you faithfully tithe. Above tithes, there are offerings and the giving of the first fruits of your increase. I'm not going to break down all these concepts because that's not the point of this message.
My point is that just because you faithfully tithe and give offerings to your local church does not mean that your house is in order. I learned that lesson the hard way.
After getting over the bitterness and shock of a hard lesson learned, God gently took my hand and led me to the truth. He said, "Daughter, you can't be faithful with 10% of your income and then be unwise with the remaining 90% and think that's the path to being wealthy."
"Hmmmm…" I muttered, pondering God's words. The Church never talked about the remaining 90%. I thought that was mine to do with as I pleased. I thought the tithe was a magic pill to cure all of my financial woes and indiscretions. I thought it could do for me what a 401k could not. I heard that giving to God paid higher dividends than investing in the stock market.
Prosperity ministries had me so focused on tithing that I took my eyes off of the remaining 90% and the bulk of my earnings wasted away into oblivion.
"Oh, my God!" I blurted, "Financial ignorance led me to poverty, and I’m a CPA for crying out loud!" The revelation of my financial ignorance awakened my curiosity and activated my will to take control of 100% of my finances.
I read all I could about building wealth, starting with Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! To this day, this is my all-time favorite financial literacy book because it provides a clear blueprint for realizing your financial goals.
Before reading the Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books, I basically wished upon a star. In other words, I was not taking proactive action steps to set my house in order. Like King Hezekiah, I was faithful to God. I was a loyal servant of the Most High, and I took care of the His Church and the poor.
Sadly, over the years, I've heard so many stories about other faithful servants who gave of themselves into an early grave. They died prematurely and penniless, leaving no financial resources to their surviving spouses and children. Yet, the Bible says, "A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children" (Prov. 13:22 NIV), and "If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV).
As God revealed some of the errors in my beliefs about money, and I sought the knowledge of money experts, I summoned the courage to take an honest look at my financial situation. I took stock of my income, expenses, debts, and savings.
I gained full visibility into where my money was going, and I realized how debt ate away at my future earnings while crippling my current bottom line with high-interest payments.
Yes, I was and am a Certified Public Accountant, but when it came to my own money, I thought all I needed to do was take care of God's House (i.e., the Church) and God would take care of my house. Now, I've always been a student of the Word of God, but the lens through which I read and understood scriptures about financial stewardship and prosperity was colored by a skewed "churched" prosperity message.
I willingly went into debt trying to look prosperous and feel rich. I didn't bother to crunch my numbers because they would have told me that I was living a lie, and who the heck wants to admit something like that? Not me, not back then! But now, I crunch my numbers daily for all of my accounts, and I run comparative financial reports monthly to validate my progress. Everything I was doing for my Fortune 500 clients, I started to do for myself.
There is no magic pill to become a millionaire. You have to take charge of your finances and build a strong financial foundation. Period!
Once you lay the foundation, then participating in an event like The 2024 Millionaire Challenge will accelerate your wealth growth potential. If you need help building a strong financial foundation, please contact me at email@example.com. Also, I will follow up with part 2 of this article, covering the specific steps I took, and you should take to gain control of your finances.
For those of you who are ready to take your money to the next level, sign up for The 2024 Millionaire Challenge and join others as they attempt to build their cash reserves to $1.3M in 28 days.
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