BEFORE THE FISCAL CLIFF

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At the time of this writing, our country is heading over the “fiscal cliff!” That could be me. Fortunately, God has been good to me because, unlike my former self, I have tried for follow God’s statutes in the past decades. I can remember, in my 30’s, having serious credit card debt, not owning a house and living paycheck to paycheck. Our leaders are an ungodly group, and they don’t even do that. They borrow to meet their fiscal fantasies. They fell off a spiritual cliff, long before the fiscal cliff loomed. We complain about our wives spending too much, but most of our leaders are men. Fiscal frugality begins with the leaders, in the home and in the capitol buildings.

It is a new year, and you Mr. Reader may be looking at your own fiscal failures and you may fear a fall. Well Proverbs 16:18 states that “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” You have a choice. You can continue in the driver’s seat and all the false pride that goes with the path of perdition or turn to the right. “Haughty” by the way, means arrogant. I was fortunate to have a Christian mother who was a fiscal conservative. Before God became my financial planner, I was a fool. He has taught me much and now at the age of 60, we will make my last payment in my home in July, we have modest savings and credit card debt that is easily paid each month. I do not boast in me, but in Christ alone!

If you don’t turn, you will continue to burn, the “Benjamins”, that is. Our government’s debt is so large I can’t wrap my head around it. Actually, I gave up trying. To put it in laymen’s terms, “we are toast!” Also in Proverbs 22:7, it states, “the borrower is servant to the lender.” Now I am OK with being a servant to God, not the bank, a bookie, Communist China or some boneheaded employer. Today I am feeling free and I will share with you who helped and how I got to my situation of security.

First off, I give props to KGBA, the Christian radio station at 100.1. They offer much ministering on how manage your money. If you want freedom from your cash captivity, get some help. The radio has regular programing on “how to manage your money, very often at 7:55 am each morning. Larry Burkett, a Christian counselor who no longer needs money because he is in heaven and lives in a condo where the streets are paved with gold, has written many helpful books on finances. I have read there and done that! Some churches offer wise counsel through classes but again, it is not good for man to be alone. Get someone to hold you accountable and guide you. Seek wisdom, and ask God, who gives generously, without finding fault (James 1:5). If you are a “Googler” check out Crown Ministries. Try to not go it alone. The solo effort only works in the cowboy movies.

To synthesize the good sense of Mr. Burkett it is “give generously, spend cautiously and save continuously.” My wife and I are pretty much on the same payroll page. Since we have been blessed with financial security, we are now in a position to give. We have been tithing for over 15 years, and now we are able to support a variety of local ministries. Give and it will be given un to you is a reoccurring theme in the Good Book, but don’t give to get, just give.

So if a fiscal cliff looms ahead, grab a friend or your partner’s hand, and start walking a different direction. I said walking because change is a slow process, where one day at a time, can really get you to a better place. But remember to walk with wisdom or the end of 2013 might be just as bad, or worse than the bottom of this year’s fiscal cliff!!