June 3, 2010

When I am working with someone on financial and other life issues, I often learn more about myself than I do about that person. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned about us has to do with how we choose to respond to a problem we’re facing. Usually, one of two crises bring us to the moment of a decision to act.  Either we have dug a hole so deep that we can’t see hope for a way out, or our circumstances dramatically and suddenly cost us something that we held dear.

Frequently, when someone wants to meet with me, that person is discouraged and sometimes still in shock over a loss. Occasionally, someone sees a storm building on their financial horizon and decides to take action before it gets too close to home. Rarely, someone seeks improvement to an already sound plan.

Interestingly, I am reminded that Jesus made the same observations about our human nature almost 2,000 years ago. During his Sermon on the Mount (sometimes called the Beatitudes), Jesus said, “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are-no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat” (Matthew 5:3-6, The Message). We’re “blessed” during hard times because despair and loss lead us to a clear realization of what is important. We understand that what is important is that God has given us potential and opportunity to live an “abundant life” that He has prepared for us. I believe that is the “everything that can’t be bought.” Finally, it’s when we then work up the “good appetite for God,” by recognizing that He is “everything,” we begin to participate in His plan for our potential to be realized. Only at that time do we focus on what He sees as important without the distractions that bring us to despair and loss.

Garry Freeman – Eastern Care Financial Consultant
Greenville, SC