Whether you saw it coming or not, the Great Recession of 2007-2009 hit a lot of folks hard. Almost no one has been immune to this financial setback nearly 8 million people were forced out of their jobs and many still haven\’t recovered. Church coffers have dwindled, and even millionaires have dropped a few zeros. Finding people who\’ve had financial setbacks is easy, but finding people who\’ve decided how they\’re going to bounce back is hard. So, if your finances have gone in reverse lately, remember what gran\’momma used to say, â€œThis too shall pass.â€
Here are a few DOs and DON\’Ts to make your financial setback pass a lot quicker.
THE DOs: Do recognize. God doesn\’t have a money shortage! The Bible says, â€œThe earth is the Lord\’s,â€
(Psalm 24:1), and I believe it. God\’s wealth is so immense that He could use pocket change to buy out Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet. Don\’t sleep! The King of kings owns the â€œcattle upon a thousand hillsâ€ (Psalm 50; 10; 12), and all â€œthe silver and gold,â€ (Haggai 2:8). DO THIS: Believe in God and know that when it looks like the financial well is dry, He can do more than break you off a little somethin\’ somethin\’, God can meet all of your needs.
> Do analyze. Get to the root of what happened. Once in a while we get blindsided by life, but most of our circumstances erupt from things we\’ve done or failed to do. If you want to get out of your financial setback, take inventory of how it happened. Were your spending habits out of control? Was â€œsaveâ€ a fourÂ letter word that you avoided at all costs? Did you spend too much time and money trying to impress the Joneses by purchasing a house that was ten times your monthly salary or a car that could have been on â€œPimp My Ride?â€ DO THIS: Fess up to yourself and to God (1 John 1:9) â€“ then learn from it, and never go that way again!
> Do expect. Think positive thoughts. I love what Philippians 4:8 says, â€œFinally, brothers, what- ever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.â€ Worrying, feeling sorry for yourself, beating yourself up, or being bitter won\’t improve your situation. You can\’t
climb out of a hole if you\’re always looking down! DO THIS: Consume yourself with positive thoughts and actions that will lift you and your family out of debt and into an abundant financial life.
> Do evaluate. Go back to the financial fundamentals. In sports, when an athlete hits a slump or is recovering from an injury, he or she must revisit the fundamentals; the golfer remembers to keep his/her head down, and the baseball player keeps his/her eyes on the ball. The financial steward must return to the basics and develop a workable budget.
DO THIS: Set the following financial priorities (in this or- der): earn it, tithe it, pay it (bills), save it, and spend it.
> Don\’t let your job or financial status define who you are. Luke 12:15 states clearly; â€œ…a man\’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.â€ It is foolish to equate your self-worth with your networth. No material item will ever be as valuable as you. If you have lost your house, car or job in this bad economy then please know this…you are still special! Your value has not diminished! A house, car, or job doesn\’t make you who you are! DON\’T confuse what\’s expensive (stuff) with what\’s valuable (you).
> Don\’t keep doing the same things and ex- pecting different results. Just because God can do anything doesn\’t mean He\’s going to do everything. Don\’t let God be the only one working on your behalf. Take part in your financial recovery by putting an end to destructive habits. Start being a good steward. If working one job always leaves you with more month than money, then take on a part-time job or start a side business. Reinvent yourself. Do something different! DON\’T get stuck in a financial rut. Change is good.
> Don\’t think that your situation is permanent. Everything you\’ve ever done started with a thought. If you thought you were going to stay broke, then there\’d be no incentive to clear up your debt, get a better job, or save money. But, if you thought your credit score could improve and you could build wealth to pay for college or a house or a new business, then you would bust your behind
to reduce your debt and increase your assets. DON\’T ever think that your current financial situation is your Destiny! It is not. God has a good plan for you and your finances! Jeremiah 29:11 says, â€œFor I know the plans I have for you,â€ declares the LORD, â€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.â€
To bounce back from a financial set back you must:
1) Pray as if it all depends on God, and
2) Work as if it all depends on you! God often uses setbacks to set us up for something great!