CUTTING YOUR COAT
Cutting Your Coat According To Your Size
As a child of an African father I recall while growing up - whenever I would take a list of much needed items to my daddy, he would quickly divide my list up based upon 2 important categories: Needs and Wants. He would then begin the dialogue concerning how our needs must be prioritized over our wants. Now if he considered the requested items to be outrageous, he would respond with one of his favorite African proverbs. My darling daughter, you must learn to “Cut Your Coat According to Your Size”. I remember the first time, I heard this as a child, I thought it was some off the wall joke or riddle he wanted me to solve. But oh no - I soon learned this really meant that in life I would need to live within the means of what my hands could afford, never seeking to live and attain things to impress others or live outside the boundaries of the money in my purse. Honestly initially I thought my father was just being a miser by watching over his money with eagle laser focused eyes but time revealed to me how this principle was not only passed down to him from his father but that he also obtained wealth concepts through his study of the bible. He loved the book of Proverbs and Psalms. Take a look at Psalms 112:5 which says “Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.”(NLT)
Now fast forward to my early twenties when I purchased my first car and was just as happy as any young person who gets their very first car not caring too much about the long term debt. My first car was a black Honda Accord, oh yes back then you could not tell me anything short of the fact that I foolishly thought I had it going on! Years later I would obtain credit cards, department store accounts, other vehicle loans and the list goes on. That African proverb my father shared with me came back to the fore front of my mind when I had to file for Bankruptcy during my marriage after my husband and I had fallen into significant debt. I made a promise to myself after emerging from Bankruptcy that I would not engage in emotional purchases and frivolous spending that would lead me to financial toil ever again. From that moment on – I adopted the mindset: If I do not have the funds to purchase anything, then I do not need it point blank period. This approach has had a huge impact on my life in terms of peace of mind and fiscal responsibility. During my divorce in 2014, I was able to pay my auto loan in full which led me to being debt free from car payments and in turn allowed me to continue funding the private Christian school tuition for my two daughters.
Listen my friends – the year is now 2017 and I am a single mother to my daughters and through God’s grace, I have paid off all my credit cards and I am now down to about $333 on my last credit card which will be fully paid by the end of August in Jesus name. Amen! It has become my mission to encourage everyone to live a life free from debt so we can have the financial resources God wants us to have to help others who are in need. Late last year, I felt the Lord really urging me to become debt free so he could use me to accomplish his purposes in my life and the lives of others. So earlier this year when I filed my tax return, I used my refund to pay off a large portion of my debt which in turn created a domino effect with my credit score causing it to leap by 82 points. There is so much power in adopting a debt free lifestyle! Yes, I still drive my 2004 vehicle even with over 250k miles, it still runs just fine. Most importantly, I am passing along life lessons to my daughters that will stay with them for as they grow up. I am not bound by what others have because I have learned to live contently simply by asking Jesus daily to help me to “Cut My Coat According to My Size” that I may be a blessing to someone in need. Remember friends - I am praying for you because you were made for such a time as this. Now go forth and take authority over your finances in Jesus name!