Simonic, Simonic, Ratnecht & Associates, Inc

Simonic, Simonic, Ratnecht & Associates, Inc
Certified Public Accountants

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Financial Forgiveness


Debt is a payment owed. An example is when Jesus told the story of the king who forgave the debt to one of his servants. You will find the story in Matthew 18. The debtor who was just forgiven of his debt came across another person who owed him. He physically abused him and cast him into prison because he could not pay. That man received forgiveness from the king but could not walk in forgiveness with others. Isn’t it curious that Jesus used money as an example of forgiveness?
There are three main areas where we have to walk in forgiveness concerning finances. We will take a moment to address each.
OTHERS:  We sometimes hold resentment for others in the financial arena. It could be resentment against business associates who have wronged us financially. It could be resentment against a boss who drives a new car while you drive a jalopy. It could be resentment against customers who have not paid us for our services. It could even be family members who we don’t think are being fair to us financially.
Several steps to walk in forgiveness are as follows:

Begin praying for those who have wronged us. This is a positive use of the energy that you are expending on these people.
Focus on the positives. Maybe you were fired from a job or not paid for services rendered. Perhaps you feel like a family member “short-changed” you. Whatever the case, look at how God has been there for you through it all. You may be moving from a job into a calling because you were let go. The customer who “stiffed” you may have made room for another customer who is more than willing to pay you for what you are worth.
Get rid of your need for revenge. Surrender your view to God’s view. He may have already forgiven the issue and you may be continuing to hold onto it. Let it go.
SPOUSE:  You cannot hold something against the person prior to getting married, because you were not there. We all make mistakes. However, if a spouse is financially unfaithful, or cheating with money, it has to be addressed. The process of forgiveness entails several steps.

Confront the issue with your spouse. If you are the one doing harm, it is time to confess. If you are the one being harmed it is time to address it.
Communication. The only real way to resolve a financial issue in a marriage is to communicate openly. The enemy cannot work in the light. It is time to sit down with your spouse and develop a family budget.
Keep in mind that you are each individuals in the process. What I mean by this is that you need to have a separate spending category for each spouse so that you can maintain a feeling of self-worth. So remember to take each other into consideration during the budget.
YOURSELF:  This is the biggest issue. Have you made financial mistakes in the past? Will you today or tomorrow? Most likely! We all deal with “woulda, shoulda, coulda” in our finances and we start blaming ourselves. Whether it is a wrong career choice, or a spending binge, or a credit card, or not being able to take your family on trips, guilt eats at us. What should you do?

Bring it to light. You need to acknowledge that you are only human and you have made mistakes like everyone else. You’re not alone in this.
Get to the root of the problem. Find out what it was that caused you to mess up. It could be emotional investing. It could be ignoring your budget or it could be other habits that are causing you to dig a big hole. Whatever the case, acknowledging the root of the problem, or as is said in the military, “knowing your enemy” is half the battle.
Take action. You need to begin to take a positive step daily to turn the tide on how things have been in the past. Focus on today and not yesterday. Also realize that you may have not gotten into a financial mess in one day, therefore, it will not take one day to get out of it. This will take the weight of the world off of your shoulders and you will be better off for it.
Celebrate your life! Realize that your life is God’s gift to you. You need to fill your life with the joy and purpose that God intended for you.
A final note is that others can grant you forgiveness in your finances. Your creditors can forgive you of debts. The court system can forgive you of debts. Friends and relatives can forgive you of debts. But only you can give yourself financial forgiveness. Once you understand and settle that, you can walk yourself into a forgiving way of life.
-Nicholas Simonic, CPA, MACC

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