How to deal effectively with debt

Here are three steps you can take to deal effectively with debt.

1. Start digging yourself out. It’s disheartening to find bills piling up on your doormat every day, but you need to know the bottom line. List your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Try to pay as much as possible towards the highest and the minimum towards the rest. Make a start, no matter how long it takes; there’s too much at stake not to.
2. Model sound financial principles for your children. Be open with them and explain that electricity, food, toys and clothes cost money, and that the reason you’re not driving the latest car is because you can’t afford it. Your children are making money memories now, so teach them diligently.
3. Give, and it will be given to you…’ (Luke 6:38 NAS)

Suze Orman says, ‘One day I was in a terrible funk. I turned on the TV and happened to catch a fundraiser. I picked up the phone and pledged as much as I could. Those people needed money more than me. Immediately I felt like a burden had been lifted. From then on whenever I felt down, I’d give… and I’d feel better. Amazingly in every instance the amount was showered back on me tenfold.’

The rewards of giving aren’t always financial; sometimes it’s the sense of freedom and purpose that comes from doing it. Plus, money should never be so important that you can’t let it go. Remember, by helping others you’re paving the way for God to ‘supply all your needs’, and His shovel is much bigger than yours!

How to avoid over-anxiety

We all worry from time to time, but wise people have learned to avoid over-anxiety by following these guidelines.

(1) Define the situation clearly. What exactly is it you’re worrying about? Be specific. Often when we take time to clarify the problem, a way to solve it will present itself.
(2) Face the worst that can happen. Would you lose your job? Your relationship? Your investment? In most cases even if the worst did happen, chances are it wouldn’t ruin you. It may be inconvenient or painful, but does it really warrant all the anxiety you’re giving it?
(3) Resolve to accept the outcome, whatever it is. Most of the stress of worry comes from denial, from not being willing to face the worst that could happen. Once you make up your mind to accept whatever happens, you’ll find worry loses its power over you.
(4) Work to improve the situation. Renowned neurologist James H Austin said, ‘Chance favours those in motion.’ Do all you can to ensure the best possible outcome, and ‘…after you have done everything… stand.’ (Ephesians 6:13 NIV) Stand on God’s promises!
(5) Give the problem to God. He’s ‘the… controller of all things’. The Psalmist said, ‘Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.’ (Psalm 9:10 NIV)

Remember, nothing can happen to you today, or any other day, that God is not aware of, in control of, and able to bring you through.