Several years back I owned a personal protection (bodyguard) agency. For three years it was very successful. I was financially “ahead” of most people my age (mid twenties). Money was not an issue for me. I paid cash for everything and only had one credit card for the purpose of continuing established credit.
During that time I also helped other business owners grow and protect their businesses. I’ve helped several friends dig themselves out of debt in less time than their bank loan officers said it could be done. I’ve helped them catch up on late rental payments & earn points on their credit card accounts; these points were then used to reduce their overall debt. I’ve negotiated with landlords so that my friend would remain in her home while catching up on rent, etc.
As a 6 year victim of identity theft God showed me what relying on Him alone during financial hardship looks like. I could not prove I didn’t write bad checks, I was arrested 6 times for things I didn’t do, I could not find steady employment, the IRS was after me for back taxes from a job in Montana (I’ve never lived or worked in Montana). Friends and family accused me of being lazy and making excuses, my child support payments were backing up & I was feeling very abandoned. But, one thought never left me, “God will see me though & I’ll be stronger for it”.
I know what it is to live in the lap of luxury, tithe, give money away and know my bills are paid three to six months in advance.
I also know what it is to not know where your next meal will come from while bouncing from house to house living with friends who see your struggle. I know what it is to cry because I didn’t have the funds to get a 100 dollar Batmobile out of layaway for my son.
Today, on the other side of the identity theft situation, my wife, Shenae, and I are dedicated to Biblical financial wisdom. We pay our bills, tithe, save and study money, finances, the value of the dollar, etc.
My financial education is ongoing. The Bible, Zig Ziglar, Larry Burkett, Bob Hopkins & Crown Financial along with others has been great sources of Biblical financial wisdom.
I pray this story serves to inspire those who are struggling. Don’t give up; lean on God’s infinite power.