Part 6 of a six part series.
Series: Financial Fitness for Uncertain Times
6. Build Endurance
In part 5 of this series, we encouraged you build reserves of cash available because the future is so uncertain. Having ready cash available is a key aspect of financial fitness, so you that you will have enough to meet emergencies and be generous to help others.
When getting on a fitness programme, starting is the easy part. Making it a part of a lifestyle over a long period of time is tough. Maintaining fitness takes self-control and endurance.
Biblically, self-control, or lack thereof, goes to the deepest part of us: the heart. It begins with our deepest beliefs and convictions. Why am I putting myself through this? For what reason am I denying myself some of the good things in life? We will be willing to control ourselves and persevere if we have our eyes fixed on the rewards.
What would you like to hear Jesus saying when you meet him in heaven? Most people answer, “I would like to hear him say, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
The reward of good management of the money and possessions entrusted to us will be more responsibility and unimaginable joy!
True self-control is not about bringing ourselves under our own control, but under the power of Christ. Ultimately, controlling ourselves is about being controlled by Christ. When “the love of Christ controls us,” when we embrace the truth that He is our sovereign and God has left nothing outside his control, we can bask in the freedom that we need not muster our own strength to exercise self-control, but we can find strength in Christ.
He gives us the power and strength to endure in any and all circumstances. It does not matter if we have little or much, we can learn to be content no matter what. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Embrace the empowerment of the Spirit God gave us which, “does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Paul talks about the need for self-discipline as a pre-requisite for winning the race, using an athletic metaphor. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
In training, we need to set attainable goals, and grow in our financial fitness step-by-step. Don’t be unrealistic in your expectations!
Celebrate small accomplishments. In a fitness programme you can treat yourself with your favourite unhealthy food after reaching a goal – or in your financial fitness programme - buy yourself something nice.
It helps to seek an accountability partner. For married couples, this will be your spouse. Being accountable to someone else increases your motivation to succeed as you want to look good to the other. Remember, believers are playing to the audience of the Trinity. Ultimately, we are accountable to the Lord who is evaluating our performance!
Along the road, you will fail at some time. We all do. “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” (Proverbs 24:16) Failure is part of the path that leads to eventual success. The greatest failure of all is to fail and never try again. Failure leads to victory but only for those who persevere through them all.
This is part 6 of a Series: Financial Fitness for Uncertain Times
1. Get ready to change
2. Take a physical
3. Get financially fit
4. Loose fat
5. Build muscle
6. Build endurance