I remember growing up in Puerto Rico hearing a very ignorant saying. Every time somebody took a loan or financed anything they really wanted, but could not afford, they would say, “The devil will make the last payment.” I don’t know where that expression came from, but it was a way of throwing away any guilt or any remorse from adding more debt into our lives.
With that mentality I remember walking into a Car Dealership in Jacksonville, Florida. My credit was pretty good as a young man, so I had power to finance. I saw a small pickup truck on display. I remember it was black, with a cool purple designed right in the center, a blue light on the bottom of the truck, nice size tires and, to top it all up, a 10 Disk CD Player. The truck was amazing. I told the salesman, “this is the one I want.” In no time, I was driving that truck out of the dealership. I felt so powerful, after all, I told myself, the devil will make the last payment, right? WRONG!
I was not a believer back in those days, but even as a believer I made some very stupid financial decisions. There was plenty of sorrow that was added for each one of those things I financed. See, we finance what we are unable to afford; that is always trouble!
I remember that I prayed, I played the lotto, I gave to evangelist and prophets who told us that if we give this particular amount of money God will bless us with great wealth and, I even waited for that big fat check in the mail. I went as far as writing checks, twice, believing that God will miraculously add the funds. Well, twice the check bounced!!!
In my early forties I asked the Lord to help me be debt free by the time I was fifty; I wanted to enjoy my jubilee year not owning men anything. I promise the Lord that if he helped me to do so I will never do anything stupid with my finances.
Nothing magical or supernatural happen; the Lord kept me employed and I pay my debt month by month. By 49 I was debt free! Today I live in a beautiful home completely debt free, my wife and I own two wonderful vehicles also debt free. We are enjoying the blessing of God. Proverbs 10:22 tells us,
It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it. New American Standard Bible (NASB)
In the last couple of years, I have learned a few keys to receiving this blessing without sorrow:
- Be content with what you have already, no matter if it is much or little:
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
- This is not a defeated attitude; this is a total trust in God that in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God will help you do all that He wants you to do.
- We can do all things through Christ; He gives us the strength to do so.
- Be a giver:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:10-11 (NASB)
- Now, I am aware that this is the Scripture that you probably have hear the most when it comes down to finances.
- The problem is not in the reality of this message according to Malachi; the problem is that we are ignoring many other aspects of Scripture that deals with finances. That is what we are attempting to address in this article.
- Check your attitude as you give… check your heart and motives:
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NASB)
- We must be excited about giving.
- If our heart is not right; giving is not going to have any effect.
- We do not give to receive anything; we are supposed to be content already.
- We give because it is the Godly thing to do and, we do it gladly.
- We must be good stewards of all that God gives us:
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. I Corinthians 4:1-2 (NASB)
- I want to make a very important point here. We as Christians are known biblically as Saints and also as Disciples of Christ. However, we never refer to ourselves as Stewards. This word steward is another word for managers. We are managers of God’s mysteries; his blessing, his revelation, his love and every activity of God on this earth.
- 1 Peter 4:10 also helps us to make this point, “As each one has received aspecial gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (NASB)
- When we are good stewards, we are trustworthy.
- Beloved, there is no prosperity without stewardship, moreover, there is no joy without good stewardship. We learn that in the Parable of the Talents in Mathew 25:14-30. As the servants did what they were supposed to do with their resources, they were invited to enter in the joy of the master.
- A commitment to live within our means:
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 (NASB)
- That Bible prohibits financial debt; therefor debt is sin; it is bad stewardship; it is against our nature as Christians.
- We are called to live within our means; if we don’t have the money to buy something cash; simply don’t buy it. This is a very cheap, simple and powerful financial advice.
In conclusion I can say that for the first time in my life I am actually enjoying the blessing that adds no sorrow. That is the blessing that comes, not from man, not from me trying to make things happen, but the blessing that comes ONLY from God Almighty. Oh, what a blessing that is!