This week’s foundation principle is to show integrity.
As I continue this series on this blog as well as on The Mormon Cat Lady (https://mormoncatlady.blogspot.com), I see evidence all around me that Heavenly Father is taking an intense interest in my finances. First, there The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered this course in self-reliance called Personal Finances, which I’m sharing with you now. Kenneth Copeland Ministries, with whom I am partnered, offered a free online course on financial prosperity. Then a secular group, headed by a woman from Credit Canada Debt Solutions, (of which I’m a client) offered a one evening tutorial in finaces. Recently the United Church of God sent me an unsolicited letter offering a booklet on Biblical finances, which I accepted. So no matter where I look, this is obviously important to the LORD, and he’s bringing it to my attention at all times and in all places.
I recently opened a tax free savings account which I will be using to save up for future investments. I had a lot of challenges this week, mainly due to my inability to tame my natural man, or to take authority over my flesh. I had to re-home two my cats temporarily, as well as four of them permanently, and the grief is manifesting itself in the over-indulgence of comfort food. Candy is my new cocaine and I spent over $40 this past week on sugary snacks attempting to comfort myself. So I haven’t done anything to save up toward my one-month emergency fund, and for that I need to repent.
I don’t have any kind of apartment insurance because that’s not viable for me while I’m on ODSP but I’m working on getting my Disability Tax Credit forms filled out by doctors.
Why does the Lord love those with integrity of heart? I think he loves people with integrity because they are the trustworthy ones. People with integrity will do what the LORD tells them, regardless of personal sacrifice. They’re willing to have self-discipline and let the spirit man conquer the natural man.
What it means to have integrity is to pay an honest tithe, and that for me means catching up on my unpaid tithes of 2017. I owe tithes for January, April, June, and July. I also owe fast offering s for those months as well, and that means some sacrifice will be necessary. I’m willing to make those sacrifices because they will strengthen and feed my spirit while starving out my natural man. As Kenneth Copeland preaches, the spirit has authority over the mind.
I owe the library money, I owe my home teacher $200, I owe two friends $10 each, and I owe over $5’000 on my credit card. Debtor’s prison doesn’t exist any more but there is simply the matter of honour and the principle of integrity. I owe the landlord money in damages .Paying back debts is a part of being honest and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states in the Thirteenth Article of Faith “We believe in being honest.”
The reward of personal integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. The Letter to the Romans bluntly states “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything but to love him.”
So why do I borrow money? I got into credit card debt because of my drug habit. When you’re supporting a cocaine addiction money blurs by in a never-ending spin and every cent seems to be an emergency. I denied reality as I went through thousands in under five weeks, just as I spent my way through my inheritance years ago. Regret does no good here but this is a time to repent. True repentance means a change of heart as well as behavior. So what do I do to avoid future debts?
For one thing, I will not borrow money. I’ve a made a quality decision that if I can’t afford it now I’ll save up for it. My TSFA is being used to save up for Cool-Sculpting and cosmetic surgery. That’s going to take time but it will be worth it to have the fitness and beauty goals I desire.
It’s not too disheartening to have these debts because I know I have the means to pay them back but that will come with sacrifice. I have to pay each debt back slowly, for example my home teacher $10 per month, while the library fine I can pay in one or shot payments. I need to open a new bank account in order to pay back my credit card or they could seize my assets. Thankfully I’m almost fully paid up my other debts with CCDS so when I begin to pay back my BMO Credit Card it will be the only debt I need to pay, as well as the extra $100 a month on my rent.
Being an addict caused me to make poor financial decisions and I’m going to be feeling those effects for quite some time to come. It limits my ability to serve others. For example, I couldn’t join World Vision for $40 a month to support a family in a developing nation, which I would have liked to do. I can’t afford to support Community Rise or The Ontario SPCA while I pay down my debts. I have to put off taking a vacation or travelling to Newfoundland to enjoy the sights and sounds of home. It affects my ability to serve others in the form of charitable donations.
How will it feel to be debt free? It will feel like HELLO, FREEDOM!
The sacrifices and cutbacks I have to make today will be worth that when I have the freedom to spend my money and the freedom to save my money as I see fit. My TSFA collects $50 a month from my chequing account, which isn’t much but it will grow. In one year I’ll have $600 in my TSFA.
I need to aggressively pay down my debt. When the opportunity presents itself I’ll give my home teacher more than the $10 per month we agreed on. I could pay him $50 or more when the chance presents itself. I also need to double up my CCDS money. Right now I pay $121 per month but I need to double that up in the next few months. Thankfully my building has a food bank and I pay an honest tithe and fast offering which allows me access to the Bishop’s storehouse. St. Vincent de Paul offers food vouchers and I can use the Salvation Army’s free meal program. This month God BLESSED me with free cat litter and cat food from Toronto Animal Services. Having only three cats to feed has loosened my budget somewhat although I plan to re-adopt Tigger and Clare ASAP.
I don’t even know how much I owe on my credit card or how much interest. I never bothered to find out when I had my credit card, which I misplaced or might have been stolen by a crackhead. It would do him no good since I had already maxed it out.
So how do I get out of debt? I need to understand my debt realities. I desire to get out of debt so I must stop incurring debt. I need to overcome my natural-man tendencies and I need to pay off my debts.
What are my thoughts and impressions as I review these principles? I feel cautiously optimistic.I know I’ll need to rely on the Lord fully to get through the next few years.
Why do I desire to be debt free? Because the Lord tells us to keep out of debt. What will I be able to do that I’m not able to do now? I’ll be able to afford liposuction and place more than a mere $50 a month in my TSFA. I’ll be able to purchase new (to me) clothes and books and take a vacation.
I need to overcome my natural man tendencies, such as impulsive and emotional spending and comparing myself to the girls on my Gossip Girl DVDs and books. Yielding to my addiction has cost me untold amounts of money, not to mention my self-respect and my standing before Heavenly Father. However, I now have a Limited Use Temple Recommend and I intend to go to the Temple once a month on Tuesdays. As I visit the Toronto Temple regularly I will be more able to overcome my natural man.
The last time I made an impulsive, expensive purchase was buying a couple hundred dollars of cocaine, in early August of 2018. I could have used that money for clothing, for groceries, for books, for pretty much anything. Although I no longer use drugs and alcohol I still impulsively spend on comfort food. Often times sales or promotions convince me to purchase things I really don’t need.
When I spend impulsively it’s usually because I’m celebrating my new freedom with money. Sometimes it’s because I fear I’ll purchase drugs if I don’t spend my money on something else. Sometimes I feel generous when I give to buskers and fellow stemmers. Other times I feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired. When I spend impulsively I tend to spend on snacks and beverages or eating at fast food places. Sometimes I spend on entertainment. I’m always alone when I spend impulsively, but this tends to be because I’m socially isolated anyway.
I’m inclined to ignore the reality of my situation because of my natural man tendencies. I need to overcome past feelings about my debt by taking communion over my debts as well as my tithe. I need to spend time tithing my tithe. I have to not covet. I have plenty of clothes I haven’t worn yet and I don’t have a TV so I don’t fall victim to too much advertising. I have Kenneth Copeland’s The Laws of Prosperity and I live by it.
How can I overcome the tendency to compare myself to others? I can be the best person I am. I can read The Book of Mormon daily.
What are the most meaningful things I’ve learned from this lesson? That it is Heavenly Father’s will that I pay my debts. That Jesus is LORD over my finances.
What will I do as a result of what I’ve learned today?
Bring food with me from home when I go to stem. Bring a Thermos of hot cocoa or herbal tea with me rather than spend on take-out herb teas. Not borrow money. Leave my debit card at home. Only take with me my library card and Presto pass. Pray daily over my finances.