Becoming a Financial Steward 2: There’s a New FHA in Town

When 2020 began, I doubt that any of us had any idea where we would be and what we would be doing in mid-March. We are in uncharted territory. On the positive side, we may be hard pressed to ever remember a time when outside circumstances forced so many of us to leave our daily routines cold turkey and focus more on the things that really matter in life. Don’t let go of that gift and thank the Lord for it even as you may be reeling with a new reality.

You may very well find yourself in a position where you are anxious and overwhelmed right now. You may still have a job or be out of one. You may be facing reduced working hours or are scrambling to work out child care needs so you can figure out how to work.

Take a minute to breathe… “Father, thank you that you are still in control when it looks and feels like things are out of control.  Help me to rely on you, because I feel anxious and I don’t know what’s coming next. Give me peace of mind and clear thought to take the next right step.”

In the first post, we introduced a stewardship conversation for 2020 and we are going to start with our finances. If you have been living and working with no financial plan, always knowing in the back of your mind that you need one but not knowing how to start, then right now is a critical time for you. We want to help!! And we are going to work through each step together.

So What is Step 1 you ask? Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the Federal Housing Administration...even though you might; it’s your Financial Health Assessment!

To get started you need to grab:
  • A pen, piece of paper or notepad, & a folder OR start a Google or Word doc and Title it: 2020 Financial Plan - Step 1: My Financial Health Assessment , and date it the day you begin
  • Printed OR online viewable statements of all places you have or owe money, i.e.: 
    • Checking & savings account(s)
    • IRA/401K, etc…
    • Student loans, mortgage, & any other loans

Financial Health Assessment:
  • What is your relationship with money? TAKE THE QUIZ by clicking on the "STEP ONE" button beneath this post.  After you have completed that, be completely honest when writing down your result  - “My relationship with money is ______________”
  • Now: take everything you grabbed and enter it by clicking on the "STEP TWO" button bellow this post. Then print it or save it so that you refer to it as we go along and as a marker for where you started - this is really important!

Now that you have completed Step 1 - your Financial Health Assessment, sit down and really look at it.  If you are married, sit with your spouse and discuss your results.  Then do the following:
  • Ask yourself: Is this where I want to be financially and is my relationship with money a healthy one? Write down this Q and your answer(s) to it.
  • If not, take a moment to write down 3 reasons why it isn’t healthy
  • After you write down your reasons, write 3 goals (1 for each reason) that will help move you from where you are to where you want to be

Example: My relationship with money is: On the rocks.

3 Reasons why:
  1. My parents always fought about money so I figure, if I don’t look at it, then I won’t fight with my spouse about it.
  2. I have never been taught how to manage my money, and I don’t know where to start.
  3. I spend compulsively on ___?___ because it makes me feel better in the moment.

3 Things I will do to begin to change this:
  1. I will start by simply telling myself the truth, that “ignoring my finances does not solve my money problems or help me have a healthy relationship with my spouse”
  2. I will seek help, find a person who can walk alongside me to help me learn what it means to manage money wisely so that I don't have to be alone and stressed all the time.
  3. I will start by asking Father to reveal why I feel the need to compulsively spend on __x__ and to show me the root cause as I think back to when it started

Jesus already knows all of this about you and He cares deeply about your personal finances.  If He didn’t, He wouldn’t have put more than 2,350 verses in the Bible that talk about your money and possessions! More than ANY other topic He ever talked about!

He knows that our relationship with money is the number 1 competitor to Him being the Lord of our lives. We generally are willing to give Him every other aspect of our lives, but not control of our finances because we feel that we earned it, and therefore we own it and totally control it - even if we poorly manage it.  Or we might eek over control of 10% but not the other 90%.

Consider this, does not giving it to Him make you a better financial manager and improve your situation?  Do you feel that you are living purposefully and less stressed because you own the department of your finances? Who gave you the body and mind that you have and the talent and abilities to do your work in the first place?

This week, read and memorize 1Chronicles 29:11-13. Ponder it, ask Father to reveal His heart for you. See you on the next post!

FREE coaching is available for you through our Financial Ministry!  Just email: [email protected] for more information or to get connected with a personal coach.

*Recommended Books for a great start:
  • Your Money Counts By: Howard Dayton 
  • Thrive By: Chuck Bentley 
  • Thriving in Love and Money By: Shaunti & Jeff FeldHahn
-Sarah Bateman, Director of Community & Finance
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