Last Year's Christmas
Here we were almost 50 and our business income had plummeted. Not only the economy, but new regulations from the EPA that were hard to pin down precisely for application. We were not alone. Friends we knew who used to bring home 6 figures are now delivering pizzas with a thankful heart. Maybe you are going through difficult times as well or scared of a possible lay-off. What does God want us to do?
Same Rules Apply
- Tithe First
- Work Hard
- Make a Budget
- Stick to Your Budget
- Manage Finances with Integrity
- Live Generously
- Cry Out to God
We put God first. The tithe is paid no matter what. We are not tempted to NOT tithe. Mike and I can testify that 90% with God's blessing is better than 100% without His blessing. We have noticed that God comes through if He is King of our wallets and bank accounts.
"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads to poverty," (Proverbs 14:23 NIV).
It doesn't help to sit around making idealistic plans and schemes. Take time to plan, but then get right to work. If you are out of work, your job is to find a job--work hard at job hunting.
God rewards hard work! Look for ways to go the extra mile, to do a little extra. My friend, Brad, delivered pizzas last Christmas, but he arrived to work an hour early and tried to learn everything he could about working in the resteraunt. He showed initiative and was proactive. God honors this!
The Lord rewards all hard work, whether it is taking care of your home, serving at church, or working for a paycheck. God's plan is hard work.
Make a Budget & Stick to Your Budget
Manage Finances with Integrity
As business owners, we always pay our employees before we pay ourselves. We are accountable to God for how we treat our employees. Our next priority is to pay our bills. Only then, do we use our money for food, clothing, and other needs. (Of course, we tithe first!)
A generous man will prosper; whoever refreshes others will himself be refreshed," (Proverbs 11:25 NIV).
Open your heart to others. Sometimes God calls us to give to people who have more than we do. Ouch! When economic times are hard, I have to guard my heart from envy, reminding myself that God is training me through financial hardship.
When there is no money to give away, I give away stuff: clothing, furniture, knick-knacks, and things we don't need. We open our home to others. Sometimes, we can't afford to feed friends a meal. Instead, we watch a movie together and eat popcorn.
Cry Out to God
When times are hard and we need a financial miracle, our family goes to The Source. The whole clan gathers in the family room and we pray. We pour our hearts out to Jesus and ask Him to come through for us. Funny thing is that these times of crying out to God as a famiy will be etched in our children's minds and hearts forever, reminding them to run to the Lord when times are hard. They will remember parents humbling themselves before their chidren and, more importantly, before their Heavenly Father.
I am thankful for this time in our lives and look forward to all God has to teach me. May God bless you in the New Year!
Living In His Blessing!
(Meredith Ludwig Curtis)