Life is messy and filled with events we can’t control. Some of these events are positive, and some are negative. Some are threatening, but some actually work out to our advantage—a promotion, a huge commission, an unexpected check in the mail, a book deal, etc.
Unexpected events have a way of exposing what’s inside our hearts. All of us have strengths and weaknesses—internal forces in the heart and mind that affect how we deal with money and live life in general. This is true for us as individuals in the privacy of our own hearts, and it’s also true for our households, businesses, churches, and governments.
The “inside things” require management and mastery.
Fear and Unexpected Financial Events
Management is how we navigate our internal issues. Without management, things start to fall apart. Certain issues have to be managed for the wellbeing of the person, the household, the business, etc.
For example, picture someone who deals with the internal issue of fear. Many, many people fall into this category where money is concerned, and their thoughts torment them at different degrees of severity:
Something has to go wrong because things are going too well.
I’m afraid of money because I know it will rule me or ruin me.
I can’t follow the Lord and have money too.
Every time I win or gain something good, something bad happens to steal it and take it all away.
My financial life won’t ever get better than it is right now.
These mindsets create cycles of thinking that keep people locked in the ruts of fear. Managing the fear issue is not enough—because it’s exhausting! Eventually people need to learn to master it. It is possible to begin to think differently in this area. Instead of fear, there can be courage. Instead of despair, there can be faith for a better tomorrow. Those who think like orphans—abandoned, forgotten, alone—can take those lies and replace them with truth.
Managing fear is only the first part of the story. By itself, management leaves a person struggling and fighting internal battles, whereas mastery is when they’ve gained victory.
As the children of God, our paradigm is the mind of Christ—this means victory is ours, relief is ours, freedom is ours. The mind of Christ enables us to gain mastery over our management. We don’t have to stay where we are. We get to move into increase.
Let’s do more than just “manage” the things trying to hold us back. Let’s master them—and fill ourselves up with good things in their place. Solid, biblical truth we can trust.
Then the next time an unexpected event jumps in front of us, we can respond according to the abundant life of God and not according to internal issues like fear.
Responding Proactively, Not Reactively
When crisis hits, it’s like a punch in the gut. Shock rolls over us. “What’s going on? I don’t understand! This is awful!”
But then comes the next step: the fallout, where we begin evaluating what’s going on around us and working out the details. “Okay, this happened—but I’m going to take care of it. I’m going to innovate and find solutions because I know the Lord is helping me.”
When faced with an external event that threatens us, we can respond in one of two ways: reactively or proactively. Proactive means we are happening to our environment, while reactive means our environment is happening to us. If we don’t “proact,” we will always find ourselves in a defensive posture—which, economically speaking, is a vulnerable position to be in.
So we need to become proactive with our finances. How? By aiming at something. I say in my classes that if we aim at nothing, we’re sure to hit it. When we have a target in our sights, we add a higher level to our thinking and move away from reactive, fear based responses.
What are you aiming for? What are your goals, hopes, and dreams? Where are you headed, and how will you know when you get there? Don’t believe the fear when it tells you, “Sorry, but you just aren’t going to get there.”
What’s Your Target?
What unexpected financial event are you dealing with today? You’re going to get through it. With God, it’s not a matter of “if He delivers you.” It’s a matter of “when He delivers you.”
Instead of merely managing any fear that may come, choose to get through this event well and on purpose. Be bold. Take aim and win. Expect the Lord to help you master this thing that’s trying to master you. Pinpoint the lies that influence your thinking, and find out what your heavenly Father thinks instead.
This blog was first published on 5th June 2020 by Stephen K De Silva on www.stephenkdesilva.com
Used with kind permission of Stephen De silva