How to Have Victory Over Financial Worry
The old saying, “Money’s too tight to mention,” applies to just about everybody, from Wall Street to Church Street. In a time where most folks are squeezing dollars, it’s easy to get caught up worrying about money.
If Evander Holyfield and Ed McMahon have homes in foreclosure, it’s only a matter of time ‘til it happens to me!
If I have to keep pumping $60, $70, $80 into my gas tank two or three times a week, I might not have enough money to pay my car note.
The last time I looked at my 401k statement, I lost a few thousand dollars. Will all of my investment disappear if the stock market plummets?
Every time I go to the grocery store, the cost of milk, eggs and everything else gets higher. Where am I going to get the extra money?
Rumor has it that my company is planning to downsize; there’s no way I can survive if I get laid off or have to take a pay cut!
I know it’s hard not to worry, but what’s the point? The Apostle Paul didn’t worry even when he was facing a very real threat of death, and his Christian infrastructure was crumbling from divisiveness in Philippi and in Rome (Phil. 1:14–17). Instead of worrying himself sick, Paul remembered to keep working on things within his control, and to turn everything else over to the Lord. He even shared his secret for victory…
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:6-9 NLT)
Rather than get your blood pressure up or sprout a few more grey hairs from worrying, do something that will actually make you feel better and help you weather financial storms. Follow the three directions God set forth: Right Praying (Phil. 4:6–7), Right Thinking (Phil. 4:8), and Right Living (Phil. 4:9).
Right Praying. Paul counsels us to take “everything to God in prayer.” So when the urge to worry about money creeps up on you, stop what you’re doing and quickly find a private space to be alone with God (the bathroom, a stairwell, or car) and worship Him. Too often we rush to say, “Lord I’m broke, help me get this bill paid. I need a miracle! Gimme, gimme, gimme.” This time, start by thanking Him for the roof over your head, food in your stomach, clothes covering your behind, and car, bus or train you rode to work. “Realize that God is big enough to solve any and every financial problem. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything!” Talking to God about everything that concerns us is the first step toward victory over financial worry.
Right Thinking. Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and mind are pulled apart and you’re strangled by worry. Numerous surveys on worry indicate that only 8 percent of the things people worried about were legitimate matters of concern! The other 92 percent were either imaginary, never happened, or involved matters over which the people had no control anyway. Just because your company is handing out pink slips, you’re getting foreclosure notices, or your business is going down doesn’t mean that the world is coming to an end. Face life’s unpleasant and displeasing events, but do not focus your attention on dishonorable things and permit them to control your thoughts. You must bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Remember this statement…“Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny!”
Right Living. No matter how tough things are financially, you must practice good financial habits. It's one thing to learn a truth, but quite another to receive it inwardly and make it a part of your everyday life. Replace worrying with action. Develop a plan to get on a budget, and get out of debt. Start saving and work your way back to financial health. It’s not enough just to learn the Word; you must receive it, hear it, and most importantly, DO IT.
Right praying, right thinking, and right living: these are the conditions for having a secure mind and victory over financial worry. Have you read Matt. 6:24–34 lately? With the peace of God to guard us and the God of peace to guide us, there is no need to worry!