I am overwhelmed with financial challenges. I constantly feel defeated and discouraged to the point of giving up. I had no idea that financial challenges could lead to such despair. How do I climb out of this dark hole I am in?
Financial Dark Hole
Dear Financial Dark Hole,
I am sorry for your pain. Through the years, Crown has served many who have come out of the same place you are in right now. There is definitely hope! It will take a concentrated effort to renew your mind and a plan to fix your financial problems. Your circumstance reminds me that the task of eating an elephant must be done one bite at a time. Let’s lay out those bite-sized steps to help you conquer this problem.
Change Your Mindset
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5–6, emphasis mine)
Changing what we think about money impacts our behavior. It requires dedicated training.
Think about athletes. They train their bodies for competition with grueling workouts. They make sacrifices and prioritize this area of their lives. A ballet company or orchestra trains for a performance or event. Believers are called to train their minds in order to respond with wisdom and discernment. Godly stewardship requires mental prowess achieved by training. Repeated practice becomes second nature, requiring little conscious effort.
We bear fruit when we abide in Christ. This happens when we devote time to regular worship and fellowship with other believers, prayer, and the reading of His Word. It is our living source of Truth, wisdom, and understanding. When we meditate on it, memorize it, and pray it, we can recognize error and flee temptation. When we set our “minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2), we can consciously shut out the negative influences of the world that distract us from walking and abiding with Christ.
Scripture to Strengthen the Mind
It is important to set financial goals and implement a plan of action. These might include debt payoff dates, funding an emergency account, funding a retirement account, and saving for major purchases, like a car, appliance, vacation, home, or remodel. It could include saving for adoption, college, going on the mission field, or starting a business.
Progress in Spite of the Pain
I recently read Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission to Make It Home by Benjamin Hall. He is the Fox journalist who survived a 2022 bombing near Kyiv, Ukraine. His story is incredible in numerous ways, but one thing I found remarkable was his strength of mind. Despite the horrible trauma, intense pain, and emotional challenges, his mental fortitude helped him survive.
“Without any real painkillers available, all I could do was turn the pain into a mind game. I had to tell myself—convince myself—that the pain didn’t matter. I had to teach my body to ignore the pain and teach my mind to block it out. I had to, in essence, put the pain away. The only way to do that was to absolutely believe there was something more important than the pain that needed my attention, and that thing was my survival. . . . I reached past the level of pain and found another level I never knew was there. . . . I marshaled every bit of my focus and put it on the only thing that mattered; to survive, to escape, to get back . . .”
His book helped me reset my perspective on pain. I hope you will consider reading it too. Persevering through pain can help you fight despair and find hope. The Lord will strengthen you and never leave you.
Christian Credit Counselors is a trusted source of support in assisting people with getting on the road to financial freedom. Reach out to them today; they may be of great benefit to you.
This article was originally published on The Christian Post on June 30, 2023.
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