“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness (absurdity, stupidity) before God.”1 Corinthians 3:19
To recap from the previous post: the first principle of getting healthy financially was to, in fact, get healthy spiritually. The first step was to remember God and to act in faith. This included paying 10% of my income to the church, as well as an offering to the poor.
Not knowing how I would accomplish this, I just did it and it hurt. However, over the months it has turned into just something that is a part of what I do. It is who I am with my money now and my finances have adjusted to this new way of thinking. It is making me less selfish in my thoughts and actions. In other words, it is healing my spirit.
I was now ready to get on with a budget and the other financial lessons I have read about my entire life, but that was not what the Lord had planned for me.
The next financial lesson I received was an impression to start serving others. I had started to give of my money back to the Lord and to others in need, but the next step was to start giving more of my time. Whoo boy! This is a tough one, as I already felt as if I was giving all my time to a job I did not like and whatever was left at the end of the day was spent on my family. This is really backwards thinking, if you think about it, and was likely a big contributor to why I was broken spiritually.
How was I going to give of my time? I was already going to church once a week and serving in a small capacity there. Much like the first principle, though, I learned that I could be doing more. I needed to think about people in my neighborhood and do something for them. It did not have to be big things, it could be a plate of cookies, saying hi, mowing a lawn, those types of things, it just needed to be something. It also started at home. I needed to be more there for my family, give them everything I had, instead of what was left over after work. That meant helping around the house, playing with the kids, reading with them, teaching them, being present.
I honestly felt like I had already been doing these things for the most part but following the impression I decided to try harder. It is an ongoing process, but the idea was just to look for ways I could serve at home, at church, and in the community. Little things, it did not have to be big, it just had to be, so I could be.
Much like the first principle, this is beginning to change me. Again, it is instilling in me a sense of gratitude for what the Lord has already blessed me, it is making me less selfish, and more aware of those around me. It is changing my way of thinking, it is changing me spiritually, so I can change financially and physically. It is setting up a solid foundation.
I know this sounds backwards and weird, it did to me to, but I was committed to seeing it through. I had tried it my way and I was in a mess and needed a new way of thinking. To this point in my journey I was in no better shape financially, in fact, I was a few dollars worse off, but my inner self was starting to feel better. I was calmer and more at peace than I had been before. Truly this was wisdom. Wisdom that I could not see before.
The wisdom of the world tells us to budget and save and invest etc. These are great principles, and they are needed to be successful with finances, but for someone like me, someone who was broken – not just broke, I needed something deeper. Something that would last. I needed a change of heart. A change that would mean once I began to budget and save and invest, it would now be with purpose. It would be with a correct perspective. It would be lasting change. A new way of thinking.