Dog on couch

You have a choice

There was a young man walking down the street and he happened to see an old man sitting on his porch. Next to the old man was his dog, who was whining and whimpering. The young man asked the old man “What’s wrong with your dog?”. The old man said “He’s laying on a nail”. The young man asked “Laying on a nail? Well why doesn’t he get up?”. The old man then replied, “It’s not hurting bad enough".

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation similar to that of a dog sitting on a nail. For example, we may remain in financial insecurity longer than necessary because we don't see a way out of the hole we're in or we may look for someone else to rescue us from our situation. This is why many people turn to gambling or faith without works. It's kind of like playing the lottery. Once they win, they waste their money and go broke all over again. 

The easy thing to blame is a lack of financial literacy, but we must consider another sad reality too. If financial hardship doesn't hurt a person enough, they will likely return to their old habits as a result of having become accustomed to their poor circumstance. Some people find comfort in lack and may even attempt to justify their bad money decisions. However, as children of God, we are never to become comfortable in a place that causes us pain when we have a Savior that died and rose again, so that we can enjoy the pleasures of freedom & fruitfulness.

Here are 5 things I had to get uncomfortable with to become debt-free:

1) Pride

Pride can trap you in a cycle of bad money habits and in a rebellious mindset of "I know best". This used to be my story until I came across Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover and decided to make him my mentor. He showed me that I had the option to tackle my debt differently or that I could continue seeking advice from people that were content with having just enough and living paycheck to paycheck. So, I chose to follow the guidance of Dave -- someone that used Biblical principles to successfully navigate his way out of debt and into financial abundance.

2) Fear of saying “No”

This was a major challenge for me because I am a giver at heart and I thought other people needed my money more than me. However, my debt-free journey forced me to discover ways to give without feeling drained or overwhelmed, which meant creating and sticking to a budget. I was able to set a monthly spending limit by allocating a specific amount in my budget for gifts, donations, dining out, shopping; etc. Once I reached the limit in those categories, I couldn't transfer funds from another category making it easier for me to say no when necessary.

3) Fear of missing out (FOMO)

I felt this the most when I was at work and my coworkers would go out for lunch, and when I'd watch other people travel to different places. I had to repeat Dave Ramsey’s favorite quote “Live like no one else, so that you can live like no one else” over and over again to keep myself from busting my budget each month. I've learned that a strong why will keep you focused.

4) Over-spiritualizing money management

Growing up in a Pentecostal church will sometimes make you believe that financial strain is the work of evil forces and that you must spend hours rebuking it. Maybe this is true for someone else but that wasn’t true for my situation. I was simply dealing with the choices that I had made and now I needed to pay back my debt. I had two options: a) Spend countless hours rebuking the evil forces or b) Resist the devil by paying off the debt. I chose to do the latter. My prayer now is for God to teach me to be a good steward of what He has blessed me with. Money management is simple math and the goal is to spend less than what you make.

5) Savior complex

This one was the biggest challenge for me. There were so many instances that I neglected my own garden and watered everyone else's even though it left a negative feeling in the pit of my stomach each month. I had no clue where my money was going, and my garden wasn’t producing any fruit in the area of finances. Thankfully, this bad habit began to correct itself once I got rid of pride and FOMO. If like me, you've been guilty of using your money to fix someone else's financial problems, stop it! Jesus Christ is the true vine and God is the vine dresser, and the LORD has generously given each person a garden as well as the resources to take care of it. Don’t ever feel guilty for not giving away the things you have been a good steward over to someone who is always squandering theirs. The best way to help this person is to point them back to God and connect them with a Financial Coach.

I encourage you to reflect on what I've shared from my own testimony; but more importantly, I hope you will choose not to be the person that sits on the nail and complains yet refuses to do anything about it. Get started on your financial freedom journey today. If you are out of debt, start saving and multiplying. If you have debt, start paying it off now. As followers of Christ, our goal should be to live and give generously.

Praying Is a Lifestyle presents Strategic Partnerships: Finances Check-In with Sherica Douglas on Wednesday, March 6th at 7:00pm EST. To participate, please text the word PRAY to 203-693-4596.

Note about the author: Sherica Douglas is a woman of God, Financial Coach, and co-founder of TurningPoint Transitions. To learn more about her services, please visit

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1 comment

Awesome reminders thank you


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