How to Bounce Back from a Financial Setback

There\’s no shame in admitting that your household income has taken a huge hit. In the past two to three years nearly everyone\’s finances have been affected.
Folks who were livin\’ large have been forced to downsize; brothas pimpin\’ their rides have had their cars repossessed, and the big-baller-shot-callers are dodging bill collectors! Even people who\’ve been careful with their money are facing a mountain of debt.

The Great Recession has also affected churches. In a survey of 1,000 pastors Lifeway Research (lifeway.com) found:

• 40% of pastors have congregation members who\’ve lost their jobs.
• 37% of pastors have increased the church\’s spending to help those in need.
• 31% of pastors have seen an increase in member requests for financial assistance.

Unfortunately, there are times when Christians suffer. God didn\’t say He\’d prevent bad things from happening to us, but He did promise to provide a way to overcome any and every challenge.

So how can you overcome these tough times?

Tell the Truth
Don\’t deny your true feelings about the situation. If you are afraid, confused, disappointed, embarrassed or even mad at God, admit it. Be real with God yourself, and your family.

Flip the Script
Pretending you don\’t need to make changes will only put you deeper in the hole! The quicker you flip the script by changing your lifestyle, the sooner you\’ll begin to feel bet- ter and get back on course. If necessary, sell the car, the house, and/or the jewelry. Get an extra job, and if you\’re out of work, take a lower paying job until you can find something better.

Examine Your Spending
Now is the time to keep close tabs on your spending; track your dollars and make sure money isn\’t being wasted. In other words, get on a budget. And if creditors are hound- ing you, answer the phone, explain your situation, and request a payment deferment or set up a plan (even if it\’s $25 a month).

Reinvent Yourself
This may be the perfect time to find a new skill, start the business you\’ve been dreaming of, get into a new career or even go back to school. You are never too old to try something new.

Get your family on the same page
The whole family needs to know what time it is. Call a family meeting, including children, and tell them it\’s time to regroup and come up with a new game plan!

As you do these things, remember that God will never leave you or forsake you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV). Although your income may be down, this too shall pass.

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