Hope you’re still keeping that little notebook to record every time you spend money on something. If not, start now. It’s the paper trail we’ll get to in a bit.
For now, let’s keeping looking at our personal encounters.
- What are your individual images of money? Good or bad?
- Are you comfortable with handling it? Uncomfortable?
- Does money ever upset, anger, or depress you?
- When does it make you happy?
- How do your early childhood images and lessons regarding money and wealth affect you now?
- Do you plan ahead to meet expenses? Budget for income and outflow? Set goals? Do you try to have a little of everything—or focus on a few objectives?
- How do you feel in the presence of a coworker who’s about to lose his or her job? Or about simply going to the mall? What monetary situations make you the most uncomfortable?
- Do you undertake major new projects, believing “God will provide,” or do you calculate and prepare in advance? Or, somehow, both?
- How do you feel when someone tells you that the reason that your prayers aren’t being answered is because you’re not being confident enough, that you need to be more specific and aggressive? Do you take a “name it and claim it” attitude in prayer? Do sinners reap too many of the benefits of God’s creation?
- At the core of your being, do you feel constrained — or empowered? Cursed or blessed?
If you are to control your finances, rather than the other way around, you need to acknowledge powerful emotions regarding money and wealth. What are your biggest emotions here? Anxiety? Fear? Joy? Comfort? Success?
That’s a lot to reflect on, but it is essential.
Which of these issues hits you the most?
Identify a negative money impression you’ve carried from childhood.
Now that you see it, name a corrective action you can pursue to reverse that trait.