I pray that this post finds everyone doing well. And even during our trials, the Lord wants us to praise Him, and in doing so, we will bring peace that surpasses understanding in our lives. Stay safe, keep warm and be blessed! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This may be my last post about finances (unless the Holy Spirit says otherwise) for a while. And if it’s the Lord’s will, we will be blogging about the family over the next three to four weeks. I pray that you will have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to you.
Three reasons why people get stuck financially: Fear of failure, lack of education, fear of losing money.
There seems to be a great divide that we have to conquer to obtain financial freedom. And it begins with how we think.
Mindset: Fixed vs. Growth
Mindset is what you believe about yourself; your talent, abilities, intelligence. If you think you can change these things, you have a growth mindset, but if you feel you were born with these innate abilities and set them in stone, you have a fixed mindset, and you don’t try to change it.
In the Parable of the Talents, we find the two types of mindsets at work. Of the three servants in the parable, there were two who understood the power of opportunity to increase what had been entrusted to them.
One must possess faith in the Master to take a risk and invest the windfalls that occur in one’s life, rather than spending it (which could be the same as burying it), and not having anything to show for the increase that had been entrusted to him. “I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent (a measurement of money) in the ground” Matthew 25:25).
It appears from this scripture concerning the Parable of the Talents (as well as other parables: Luke 12:16-31, Luke 16:91-31, Matthew 19:16-29), that the Lord has put more weight on financial stewardship than we may care to admit. Sometimes, there seems to be a breach between how we are taught to operate in our financial lives and what God requires. Well, what does He require? We’ve heard in certain circles that we should tithe 10 percent of our income. However, in this passage, He goes beyond tithing and giving, and He’s talking about investing.
So what should we as believers invest in?
- The Kingdom of God – We should tithe 10% of our income so that this Gospel will be preached around the world.
- The Poor – The Lord cares about the poor, and so should we.
- Yourself – You should “pay yourself first” (after you tithe) so that when an investment opportunity presents itself, you will be ready to seize it.
The 5 Whys Analysis
What is the 5 Why Analysis? It is a technique used to explore cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The technique’s primary goal is to find the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the word “Why”. Each answer forms the basis of the next question.
Let’s use the 5 Whys Analysis to determine some reasons as to why the last servant buried the money rather than invested it. What was the problem? The servant did not invest the money.
- Why did the servant not invest the money? He was afraid.
- Why was he afraid? He was afraid of failure.
- Why was he afraid of failure? Because he lacked knowledge.
- Why did he lack knowledge? Because he did not seek it out.
- Why did he not seek out knowledge? Because he had a lackadaisical attitude.
If we continue this analysis individually, we can learn how to move from financial fear to financial peace.
It is essential to point out again the importance of knowledge and how detrimental the lack of it can be. This is why it is vitally important to seek out financial education to help us make educated decisions about our finances. In my personal opinion, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great resource to help you get started with the right mindset towards financial education.
The Lord says that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. It is the lack of knowledge that keeps us in debt. We must learn how to live within our income so that we will be content with the things that we have. We live in fear of not having what others think that we should have, and we go into debt trying to impress others with our stuff when in reality, we lack financial savvy that will help us build real wealth. How do we create real wealth? Financial education. Those two faithful servants understood that the way to be a good steward over what their master had entrusted them with was to invest it. If we lack investing skills, it behooves us to learn how to increase money instead of squandering it. When we increase knowledge, the fear will dissipate.
So how do we increase knowledge?
Jesus reprimanded the servant who buried the money. In fact, He called him a lazy man. Why? Because even if he did not know how to invest the money, he could have asked one of the “wise” servants for advice. We gain knowledge through trial and error, but there are times when we can just ask the right questions.
As long as we are moving forward, pressing toward the mark for the prize of that high calling in Christ Jesus, we will be counted among the wise.
As we move towards good financial stewardship and financial education, we will experience financial peace. It is a process and not necessarily an easy one, but it is definitely worth the effort that has eternal consequences attached to it. There isn’t one answer for everyone, but rather a path that has to be carved out with an earnest to find the right answers for you and your family.
The Lord has called us to financial stewardship. Not to serve, love or squander money, but to invest, give and manage it in a way that brings glory to Him.
As believers, the Lord expects us to exercise sound financial stewardship over our finances and not be driven by the world’s system.
Financial fear is driven by doing things man’s way, while financial peace happens when we decide to do things God’s way.