In the summer of 2016, I was searching for an online Christian financial course that I could take at my own pace and I found one offered by Christian Financial Ministries. This course was titled “Financial Freedom God’s Way” and it was created and taught by Bob Louder. It was a biblically-focused course that used many Bible verses to explain how and why God blesses us financially. I learned that there are over 2,300 verses that talk about money, and I don’t ever recall hearing a sermon that mentioned that. So, this was a very interesting and eye-opening statistic for me.
In the first half of the course, there were about ten students and only five advanced to the next one. However, at the end of the complete course, only three of us remained, and that was very disappointing to not only the instructor but also to me since I felt the others were not as dedicated to learning as I was. I bonded very well with Mr. Louder and he asked me to help him manage the social media sites for the course and help promote it to potential students. I was in the middle of paying off my garnishment, so this course helped me feel that God was right beside me and that my financial situation would soon improve significantly.
One of the things that I struggled with was tithing. When we began to study this in the course, I did not think it was that important to God. I had always donated money to my local church and other ministries but it didn’t add up to be a tithe or ten percent of my income. I had seen God bless me in past years when I was faithfully giving money monthly to my church and ministries and it had never dawned on me that I wasn’t tithing. I had never been taught that to tithe is the first step to full financial freedom and blessings. Growing up I always helped count the offering at my father’s churches, and I also helped him when he would publish the newsletter letting the congregation know where their offering money was going. So, I knew the importance of continuously supporting my local church. But I was never taught that God would bless me beyond measure when I started to tithe continuously. The best example of this was my own accountant who is a woman with a strong faith in God. I asked her once how she was able to be blessed so incredibly financially and she told me it was due to her practicing the tithe. She had learned this as a little girl in her church and it was ingrained in her that this would lead to her financial success. She not only tithes to her local church, but she also donates to missionaries and other ministries too. She owns two houses in an exclusive part of the city and also drives a very expensive luxury vehicle, and she has no regrets about it. She knows that God is using her to fund his great commission and He allows her to live this lavish lifestyle too. I never thought I could start tithing, and it wasn’t until June 2018 that I made the decision to become a tither. And from there on my financial situation improved significantly.
In my role as a Benefits Advocate for the major insurance company that I work for, I was eligible to receive quarterly bonuses based on certain metrics that I met monthly. For some reason, I had never been able to qualify for this bonus and it was frustrating for me. Looking back now, part of the reason was that I was not trained properly as to what I needed to do to qualify for this bonus. However, right after I started tithing, God allowed me to listen in on a call that enlightened me and I now knew what I needed to do to qualify for it. And since then, I have qualified for these quarterly bonuses consistently. It was $750 in 2018, but soon thereafter it was increased to $1200 with an additional $150 if I met other requirements. Every time I bonused, I tithed from that amount and I became a cheerful giver…or rather a cheerful tither. I received generous annual increases too, and I was on my way to reaching financial freedom.
I also want to mention that I finally paid off my garnishment in October 2016 and what a great feeling that was. My next paycheck after that looked like a million dollars to me. I didn’t have to pay the garnishment anymore and now I could focus on saving more money. This experience impacted me so much so that I became extremely frugal with my money, and I made sure that after every pay period I had at least $200 leftover. I didn’t want to ever experience having a lack of money, and I asked God to help me increase my income by finding another job or a side hustle. Since I had social media management experience, I decided to create my own company and I established it as a sole proprietorship. I was able to get two clients, a doctor’s office and a BMW service repair shop. I made $2,500 managing their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for about three months but then these clients decided not to renew. This was very disappointing to me since I thought I was doing a great job at managing and promoting their social media accounts. I made a wise decision in placing this money in a savings account since I wanted it to be my emergency fund.
It was difficult to hold a full-time job while trying to get a side business going, so I decided to just focus on working overtime at work to get extra money. During this time, I was also applying for other jobs inside and outside of the company. I felt it was time for me to get a more responsible and higher-paying job. My interviews within the company were somewhat disappointing. I thought my accomplishments at previous companies together with my accomplishments at my current company would more than qualify me for a promotion. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how my interviewers saw me. I found out quickly that there were clicks within certain departments that I was applying for, and I had the feeling that maybe some saw me as a threat due to my qualifications. That is the bad side of working in the corporate world – things don’t usually turn out the way you plan them.
At the church I was attending they created a “prayer wall” by the lobby. There were Post It notes on the tables with markers where you could write your prayer request and then post it on the wall. The prayer team would then take these requests to pray over them. I remember submitting prayer requests twice – the first time it was for me to get a high-paying job and the other time to help me with a business idea. I truly believed that at least one of those prayers would be answered. I also submitted these requests to several online ministries because I felt that the more people would be praying over my requests, the louder it would sound in Heaven.
I also began following pastors whose ministries focused on financial blessings and I was immersed in a totally new realm. I often wondered why churches avoid talking about the financial blessings that God can bestow upon us by following the instructions in the Bible. This would bless so many people and help their ministries too. I also studied books on Jewish wealth since the Jews are one of the most financially successful people in most countries of the world. The one book that had the most impact on me was “Thou Shall Prosper” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. It is a very enlightening book and he basically wrote it to teach us “gentiles” that we can also attain the same wealth as they do by following what they are taught as youngsters.
That’s it for this post and I will share more miraculous stories next time.
Let me know if you are enjoying reading about my financial journey so far by commenting here.