Five Little Things That Kept Me Broke For A Long Time

Five Little Things That Kept Me Broke For A Long Time
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

In full transparency, I’m not wealthy by many people’s standards.

I still have debt. I still don’t own my house. I just barely reached my 3-month savings threshold.

But I’m not broke.

I don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck. I’m not scared of ‘money talk.’ My money is now making me money.

green plant in clear glass cup
Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

Five things shifted, and I want to share the mistakes that held me back from honoring God and building wealth.

1. I thought money would buy me happiness.

The thing that held me back from more money was the fear that I’d lose a piece of myself if I lost my money. But money has nothing to do with me.

Money is a tool: making it or losing it has no bearing on who I am or how I feel about myself. God has already determined my value.

I am finally at a place where my money and happiness are separate; they impact each other, but they are not reliant on each other. This opened me up to financial risk-taking and being more bullish on saving and investing.

If you love being poor, never be bold with your money.

2. I avoided problems I could solve.

Debt is stressful. I avoided looking at my statements for the longest time, hoping they would resolve themselves. They never did.

Until recently, I would tread lightly around my problems, never ruffle any feathers, and avoid tension at all costs. My leap toward financial freedom came when I stopped doing that.

I learned that financial freedom comes by doing what the rich do: destroy their problems (debt), save before they spend, get smart about money, and never avoid the problem.

Wealthy people love problems and know that having bigger problems in their lives is a sign their doing it right.

3. I limited my thinking.

Just because I sometimes have a tiny rodent brain when it comes to my money doesn’t mean I can’t think bigger from time to time.

Nobody, absolutely no other person, has the power to limit the depths and heights of my thoughts. Even if I'm in a difficult situation, I decide to focus on what is worthy of praise.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:8

When it comes to my money, I choose to believe God can do great things through my finances. The things God wants from my money will come about if I think bigger, take bold action, and have a little bit of courage.

4. I determined that money was evil.

One of the most ridiculous things I hear as a Christian pastor is that money is evil.

People go so far as to say the church should never talk about money; Christians should live by faith, not finances; and if I build wealth, I am not trusting God.

All lies; likely from people who have not made wise financial decisions and are attempting to justify where they lack. Money is not evil, but loving money can lead to evil. So I choose wisdom AND wealth.

Money is a tool that gives me leverage.

Leverage allows me to do a lot of good in the world.

The alternative is that Christians do not have money, therefore do not have leverage, and all the good that could have been done is left wanting.

5. I thought I was above learning about money.

Money hasn’t always been something that the majority of people are concerned about. It was irrelevant to 99% of people who cared more about growing crops and not ticking off the local government.

But now money is relevant, and I knew it was time to accept that.

Earning, spending, saving, and investing money is a craft to learn. Why? We all need money, and Jesus wants us to get really smart about how we use it.

In a story, Jesus told about a master who gave money to his workers and went away for a bit. When he returned, he said to those who invested wisely and doubled their amount: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

I had to stop telling myself the story that I was ‘bad with money,’ and it ‘wasn’t my scene.’ I am human; it has to be my scene.

I started small with my debt and savings. I asked people who make money good questions. I invested in my knowledge by reading good books like The Psychology of Money and The Richest Man in Babylon.

All things you could start doing today.