How often have we heard financial teachers use fear to get us to prepare?
They might even follow their doomsday tales with “If you are prepared, you shall not fear.”
As much as I believe that phrase to be true, I know that preparing with faith creates greater results, peace of mind, and protection from life's storms.
Here are a few ways that you can prepare with an abundant, fearless, faith-filled perspective so you can prosper & flourish:
I believe that this one is most often overlooked but is the foundation for financial freedom. If you aren’t spiritually prepared and in sync to receiving inspiration, everything else could collapse.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I living with integrity (doing what I know I should be) in all areas of my life?
- Do I seek inspiration through prayer?
- Do I meditate often?
- Do I focus on serving others instead of only serving myself?
- Do I acknowledge abundance by donating at least 10% of my income BEFORE paying myself?
By putting our focus here first, the other areas of preparedness come more easily. Focus on the spiritual aspects, and the financial benefits will follow.
What do I mean by work preparedness? Dieter F. Uchtdorf said that there are two principles in any economy – work and education.
Imagine for a moment that the monetary system failed worldwide. Money was no longer an option. How would you exchange to get the goods that you need?
Being able to exchange goods and services with others allowed the entire community, as a whole, to prosper faster. When everyone worked together to prosper, their abundance increased more and all essential needs were met more easily than living life as “every man for himself.”
Work is at the heart of prosperity. An economy is run by those that labor to provide a valuable service or product to others.
When people stop working, society fails. When we expect others to take care of us, no one will be able to take care of us. Work is essential to prosperity.
A key principle of work is this - Exchange creates wealth. The faster and greater the exchange, the more wealthy everyone becomes. The more we withhold our labor or our request for labor, the more impoverished we become.
Think of the Great Depression. Out of fear, people either stopped spending money (hoarding) or gambled it away. When you stop spending money or asking others to provide goods or services to you, people don’t get paid. When they don’t get paid, you won’t get paid either. A lot of people were unnecessarily out of work because people didn’t have the faith in this timeless economic principle of exchange.
Education is also critical here. In order to improve our value in society, we need to have the necessary skills and knowledge that will help deliver on those goods and services. Education does not necessarily mean schooling in the traditional sense. It can be acquired in many different ways, such as becoming an apprentice, reading books, attending classes or workshops, self-teaching thru YouTube, etc.
The key here is to always strive to increase our understanding and knowledge. When we do so, we increase our value. As our value increases, so does our wealth.
J. Richard Clarke once said:
“Is it possible [we] are becoming part of a “conspiracy for mediocrity” by being content with [our] present knowledge and skills? Pride of workmanship has always been the heart of a competitive free-enterprise system. There are too many tradesmen who will not pay the price to become craftsmen, teachers who do not teach, repairmen who do not repair, farmers who do not farm, leaders who do not lead, and problem solvers in every field who do not solve problems.
Our labor should be honest labor and quality labor. The only honorable way for each of us to share in the world’s wealth is to exchange our own goods and services for those produced by someone else....”
Having with the right knowledge and skills that serves others allows us to be prepared, regardless of the economy or government decisions about our currencies. This is why I don’t fear a financial collapse.
I never ask, “How can I make more money?” I ask the question that is the cause of money and prosperity, “How do I serve or add more value to more people?” THAT is why education and work go hand in hand for preparedness.
As you work on preparing yourself spiritually, educationally, and occupationally, you must have your finances in order. Financial preparedness includes:
1. Pay tithes and offerings, or donate 10% to charity
2. Live within your means
3. Build an emergency savings (At least 6 months expenses)
4. Have the proper insurances
5. Be wise with your surplus
6. Food, water, and gas storage
7. Extra clothing
I'm not going to spend a lot of time going into each of these in this post, but there are other posts where I have addressed several of these. In this area, what's important is that you start somewhere. You don't have to have all of this done now. Work little by little to prepare yourself financially.
The one overarching principle I hope you get from these three areas of preparation is the principle of stewardship. I believe we are here on this Earth to learn how to manage and increase our stewardship to serve others and be happy. We have stewardship over our bodies, minds, families, neighbors, time, and money/physical items. How well do we take care of these people or things? Are we trying to make life simpler by eliminating these from our lives, or are we trying to improve and increase them?
That’s the point of all of this.
How will we manage our stewardship to be best prepared, no matter what storms come our way? Preparing with faith brings confidence and peace of mind when others panic. You will become a beacon of hope when hopelessness becomes the norm. This won’t only bless you and your immediate family, but generations beyond you, and the lives that you touch. As Malachi said in the Old Testament, “All nations shall call you blessed.”