Be disciplined, stay positive in tough times

BY MARLANDO JORDAN, SPECIAL TO THE HERALDApril 6, 2013 

A large majority of Americans are having some type of financial challenge. There are many who are struggling to make ends meet. There are those who have been laid off, had their hours cut, had their homes go into foreclosure, lost their benefits, and the list goes on.

One of the lessons I have learned over the years is that sometimes we cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to what happens to us.

So, the question then is how do we face economic hardship? The answer is multi-faceted. There are many things that a person can do to turn their finances around even in a struggling economy. However, time will not permit me to share them all. Here are two key ways in which a person can turn their finances around.

One of the first things we can do to turn our finances around is have a great attitude.

It is attitude, not circumstances, that makes success possible in even the most unlikely conditions. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes.

Psychologist William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind." A person's attitude during a crisis will always determine the outcome.

A positive attitude is not hype; it is an attitude of optimism even in the face of extreme odds. It is seeing life from God's perspective.

One of the challenges that we all face during hardship is the temptation to have a negative attitude. Former Word of Faith pastor Douglas W. Graves says, "Negativity is the first sign of inward defeat." On the other hand, a positive attitude is a sign of inward victory. Attitude matters!

The second thing we can do to turn our finances around is to develop discipline.

If a person has more month than paycheck, then they should be willing to look at their spending habits. I understand that not everyone is making big bucks and there are those who really do need more money to provide for their families. However we all have a responsibility to live within our means.

Proverbs 27:23-24 says, "Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations." This speaks of money management. We can either manage money or it will manage us.

One of the best things that a person can do to manage their finances is take the Financial Peace University course by Dave Ramsey. I personally attended this course, and it has helped my family tremendously. There are several churches that offer this course, and I highly encourage individuals and couples to attend, if they have not already done so.

*Marlando Jordan is associate pastor at Word of Faith Center in Kennewick. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email lluginbill@tricityherald.com.

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