If you and your family are in financial difficulties, here are some time-tested ways that many Christians “go through the fire” on their way to financial security:
1. Buy books on financial prosperity and become amazed at how financial security has been in your grasp all along
2. Pray and confess the Word; praise God with a thankful heart for all He’s done for you.
3. Faithfully pay tithe on time.
4. Casually mention to your spouse that things are getting worse financially.
5. Lecture children on starving kids in other countries, and explain the concept of financial stewardship as a reason why they can’t go to the movies.
6. Counsel with other Christians who have never actually been through a financial trial.
7. Politely refuse your parents’ offer to help financially because “things really aren’t all that bad.”
8. Blame Satan for your trials. Engage in spiritual warfare with the devil and really let him have it.
9. Pay tithe one or two weeks late, because after all, we’re not under the law.
10. Borrow children’s allowances “until things get better,” especially if they are too young to remember how much you borrowed, but especially if they know nothing about charging interest.
11. In frustration, throw out books on financial prosperity.
12. Beg God to help you financially, promising Him anything He wants.
13. Rob Peter to pay Paul.
14. Borrow from credit cards to pay back Peter.
15. Stubbornly refuse your parents’ offer to help financially again because even though things are that bad, you have too much pride.
16. Argue with God about your situation, pointing out all the things in the Word that He’s not doing.
17. Repent for arguing with God.
18. Sift through garbage cans to see if prosperity books are still there.
19. Realize they were picked up by the garbage men last week with the trash. Blame your kids for putting out the trash like they were supposed to.
20. Blame your spouse for your financial troubles, regardless of how irrational your arguments sound.
21. Make up with your spouse, and apologize to each other.
22. Overspend at the mall in an attempt to show each other just how sorry you are for the argument.
23. Use tithe to pay some bills because you overspent at the mall.
24. Cash in pennies.
25. Shamelessly beg your parents for financial help.
26. Discover a hundred ways to fix tuna fish.
27. Demand to know why the kids have to eat three meals a day.
28. Laugh hysterically at your money problems.
29. Fast in an attempt to bargain with God.
30. Break your fast and pig out at an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant because your blood sugar was low and, hey, you can’t overdo this fasting stuff.
31. Repent for breaking your fast (and for your gluttony).
32. Surrender your entire life to the Lord, try to follow the Scriptural guidelines on finances, trust the Lord to provide what you need, and decide in your heart to be content in whatever state you find yourself.
(OK, it’s a lame ending, but you didn’t really think I had the answers, did you?)
Author’s note: The above, tongue-in-cheek list is a compilation of (mostly) dumb things I have heard people say they did while struggling through financial trials. I refuse to admit whether or not my wife ever did any of these things.