Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stewardship Spotlight!

In today's Stewardship Spotlight, we will be spotlighting "Hosea 8:7"

 "They sow the wind and reap a whirlwind..."

This summer we have been working in our garden and planting flowers indoors. We have planted sunflowers, african daisys, impatiens, sweet peas, tomatos, cucumbers, a host of other veggies, and herbs. The children are so amazed when they see the sprouts come from the tiny seeds that we plant. Some of our sunflowers are over 6 inches now. I must admit, this is pretty amazing to me also.

A few summers ago we had so many tomatos we could not give them away fast enough. My husband planted them once and they continued to yield tomatos for what seemed like a lifetime, they just kept coming up and coming up.

The garden has helped me gain a new perspective about debt. While the garden is a good thing, debt is not, however, the same principle's of sowing and reaping are at work in both.

When the tomatos were planted I had no idea that they would yield so much for so long. Much like debt, especially credit card debt, you plant a seed and reap for years. As stewards we should be mindful that credit card debt yields a harvest that continues to grow and grow if we feed it and eventually we will eat of it's fruit.

You see, once you swipe that card unless you pay it off as soon as it comes in the mail, you will experience tremendous growth. This could be 19% interest or 26.99% interest. As you continue to swipe the card the debt incurred will continue to grow at rapid speed.

Just like the sunflower seed, one day we planted it, in a few days there was a sprout. A few days later, the plant was over 6 inches and still growing. All of this came from one little sunflower seed. I have been told this flower can grow over 4 feet tall. Does this sound like debt to you?

Debt always starts out small for the most part. You get a new credit card, how exciting! "Oops, I just remembered it's auntie's birthday, I'll just charge a fruit basket for her." Next week, "those shoe's are calling my name and here I am." In a matter of months, if that long you could have your charge up to the limit. At this point and I quote B.B King "the thrill is gone, baby."  Gone is the thrill but here comes the bill. Pay the minimum balance and you'll be paying for years to come. "Sow the wind and reap a whirlwind."

As good stewards, we must be wise with our credit card purchases. Credit cards are not all bad, if kept in perspective and paid off as soon as they arrive. I have used them for good, in my later years. I have been in department stores and seen sales of 50%-75% off of items for the children, especially in off seasons. It was to my advantage to get these quality items, especially for the rough boys I have. I paid with the charge card to get an additional 15% - 20% off and then stood there afterwards and used a check to pay off what I had just charged. So I got the sale price, the additional 20% off and then I paid the balance off right there at the register. Sale caught, no debt incurred!

Stewardship is about investing and using the finances we have been entrusted with wisely. Keep in mind "you reap what you sow, what you plant you'll grow." Plant your finances in debt and needless spending, you'll reap more debt, high interest and years of re-payment. Plant your finances in savings, investments, and wise spending and you'll reap more finances, peace and financial freedom.

Hosea 8:7 "They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind."

Remember: "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

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