It’s Always About Renewing Your Mind…
I want to make it clear I’m not the most religious Christian… I’m more like the guy; who you look at out your window and wonder… Does he know Jesus?
As a Main Street entrepreneur who has been a Jesus believer for over 45 years, I have studied myself and tens of thousands of others; believers and non-believers, and come to the following conclusion: B+T=F (What we BELIEVE defines what we THINK. What we THINK empowers what we FEEL! Be that Anxiety or anything in your life!
But there is more… What we FEEL fuels how we ACT. How we ACT drives our RESULTS! So, if you are not seeing your home-based, main street, rural business attracting customers or turning a profit, then it’s time you start digging deeper into what you truly believe.
If we BELIEVE a false THOUGHT about our abilities, customers, clients or team members, then we will ACT incorrectly when we connect with others, which will drive the wrong RESULTS with our money. So for the next few minutes, I want to write about renewing our minds and transforming our thinking about who we are and our abilities.
In Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Anxiety can be defined as apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness over some anticipated event. Financial Anxiety is when we apply that definition to our real or perceived money wows! Opposite of what we just read in the scriptures. In many situations, I have witnessed folks put so much stress on themselves to make a sale or recruit because their spouse or family think they made a blunder starting a home-based business that they come across begging for a close… even on social media.
In my personal life, and for this article, I define Anxiety as that gut-wrenching uneasy, nervous, fearful, and distraught feeling I get deep in my gut. And right after that gut-wrenching feeling comes to the emotions of shame, bitterness, anger, unworthiness, panic, and some I can’t even name… I know I want to puke, can’t eat, and don’t want to talk to any human being, period! I don’t want to risk hearing, “I told you so; you should have listened.” So why do we feel these emotions so strongly about what other folks think about how we want to earn money… or is it really about the money?
Here is the deal, we can have all the money we will ever need or believe we are headed straight toward bankruptcy hell; no matter what direction we are heading, we can all agree – Anxiety SUCKS and can stop us in our tracks. So, for now, study your B+T=F so that you can change your F+A=R.
In the late 90s, I was recognized as a top income earner with World Marketing Alliance (now known as World Financial Group), but I was a poser. Don’t get me wrong, by the early to mid-90s; I looked successful; U.S. Marine, bounty hunter, restauranter, revived a failing country club, married with 5 kids, and instrumental in exposing two corrupt political organizations. Whereas I had earned the award, I knew this year would be different. Plus, we learned our oldest daughter (3 old at the time) needed a very delicate kidney surgery, and we needed to figure out how to pay the pediatric kidney surgeon to perform it. I’ll never forget I yelled at God – “Why did you allow this to happen?” SILENCE… Then I heard a small still voice… “I gave you the blessings, the debt on you, son!” Not only was I a poser, I knew my relationship with God and Paige was in shambles. I put in a Paul Overstreet cassette and a song played called “Dig Another Well,” a story from Gen 26. I started learning something that day as I started down the path of financial recovery – The Lord will trust us with little to see how we do before He trusts us with much! I loved myself and how others saw me. I focused on living like I saw everyone else and not like the Lord called me to live.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT) – “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Romans 12:2 (NLT) – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
These verses hit me hard because I didn’t love myself, I knew I was a poser, and I was placing everything before my relationship with God and my wife. In other words, instead of having an affair with Paige and God, I was committing adulatory with the drive for success, money, value, and acceptance, while living in shame, self-pity, bitterness, and unforgiveness, which was self-sabotaging any long-term success I desired. I didn’t think I was worthy of any of it. I allowed others to define me instead of finding my value in how The Lord saw me. Life didn’t change fast for me. Nor did I learn my lesson in the 90s and never mucked up my life again. Even today, I fight my ego, past financial trauma, emotional and spiritual strongholds, the words of others, marriage and raising kids struggles, and at times my perception of money or life in general. Our perception of money and success are the primary triggers for our financial anxiety. When we place anything above God and our closest relationships, then anxiety can hit at the craziest times. For most of us, our perception of money comes from our life experiences and worldview, partly formed before we came out of the womb. Our BELIEFS define what we THINK. And what we THINK empowers what we FEEL. What we Feel fuels how we Act. And how we Act drives our results.
There are four main types of personalities when it comes to money:
The Driver – Money Represents Success! You crave others, specifically friends and family, to see you as competent or wise. But, on the other hand, you fear your friends and family will see you as incompetent if you can’t handle your money or life in general.
The Analytic – Money Represents Security or Independence! You crave complete control of your life… no chaos, no dependence from your spouse, family, or friends. You fear a lack of control of your life or the chaos of being dominated by anyone else.
The Amiable – Money Represents Love! You crave affection; you may call it intimacy with your spouse, family, and friends. However, you fear a loss of respect or intimacy from your spouse, family, and friends.
The Expressive – Money Represents Acceptance! You crave respect, trust, and confidence from your spouse, family, and friends! But, conversely, you fear rejection from those you love, respect, and trust.
Depending on your stage of life, or the financial trauma you have experienced, you will perceive money in one or more of these ways, and they will cause economic anxiety. When you think back to the gut-wrenching feeling you get when financial pressure comes on, it is caused because you are taking your eyes off the Lord and allowing whoever or whatever triggered your financial trauma to control your emotions. It’s not easy, but this is when you need to pause and pray!
1st Tim 1:7 tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” So take time to pause and seek peace during your storm. Let’s look at Philippines 4:6-8 one more time.
Philippines 4:6-8 (NLT) – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
As my story continued and I learned all I’ve written in this article, I can’t say I learned quickly. We went on to file for bankruptcy, and our family life was a mess. Finally, however, my wife Paige saw her writing career take off, opening new doors. Since 2000, Paige has written over 30 books, with four becoming best sellers.
Here is what I finally learned…
A lifetime of chasing the corporate dream, success, financial freedom, personal power, my past demons of worthlessness and pride, and my emotional intimacy insecurities cost me dearly. My relationship with my wife was strained beyond the breaking point. Three of our sons turned their back on the Lord, two went to prison, and one ended up on life support and now has a heart monitor in his chest and just finished 9 months in the county jail. I went bankrupt for a second time and settled with the Securities & Exchange Commission in 2013 for my part of the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme. Then in January 2018, the Lord opened my eyes to a compelling truth…
I had NEVER honored the Lord with the best part of my life, money, relationships, time, or love.
Since 2018, when I made this commitment, I have stopped feeling any financial anxiety.
This is why I say… It’s never about the money; it’s always about renewing your mind!