Anyone who knows me knows that I have a fear of being poor. I mean, seriously, I have a phobia of poverty. I didn’t grow up rich or even in the middle class; we were POOR. I mean homeless shelter living poor, can’t wait to Monday for school lunch poor, can’t take a 6th grade skating trip poor, powdered milk drinking poor… I would go on but you get the point.
When I was a child, around 8 years old, my mother, siblings and I lived in a homeless shelter. At the time I did not realize we lived in a shelter; it was simply my home. My elementary school hosted a canned food drive for the homeless and asked every student to bring a can to class one morning. I was so excited about helping. I rushed home (to the shelter) and told my mom that I needed not one, but three cans, to bring to school the next day to help people without a home. My mother looked me in my delighted eyes and broke down. She cried the entire night! “For he shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him that has no helper.” (Psalm 72:12 KJV) I did not understand her sadness and I also did not understand why my classmates were at my house the following week with cans.
Needless to say that was many years ago, but it has truly shaped my thinking as an adult today. I am obsessed with making money. I work SEVEN days a week and sometimes THREE jobs a day. I navigate off of FOUR hours of sleep and sometimes forget to eat. I am extremely frugal and save every dime I get. I check my savings and checking accounts at least two times a day to make sure my money is safe. When I get free time (which is very rare), my mind is constantly racing with thoughts of how I could be making more money. Working and money comes before everything. It comes before my family, friends, relationship, church, and personal time with God! Do I have a problem? Am I a work-a-holic? I searched the scripture for the answers.
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV)
Indeed God’s word is true. I found myself never having enough. If I made $300 one night, I wanted $400. I have three jobs, but felt as if I needed to pick up a fourth one for more income. I was simply never satisfied. Recently, I made a decision to redirect my focus and priorities. God’s word promises that if I first focus on God and what He would have me to do, then He will take care of everything that I need. (Matthew 6:25-34) I choose to trust God to prosper me in every area of my life, instead of obsessing over my fears of what could be.
Please help me to give my all to You. I bind up the spirit of poverty, but more importantly I bind up the FEAR of being poor. I pray for insight Lord. I pray for comfort and constant reminders that nothing comes before my relationship with You and that I will be blessed when I remain faithful to You, not my jobs. When I begin to focus too much on making money, remind me that, “A faithful man is richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 28:20 NIV) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to face any fear that you may have! Do not live your life paranoid or frantic, for God did not give us a spirit of fear! Bind it up and send it back to the pit of hell from which it came. DO NOT walk in fear!
What is your “holic”? Have you been putting anything before God out of fear or comfort?
Read a related EmpowerMoment: All About the Benjamins
Ms. Chaunte’ Tate is a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T University with a degree in Journalism. She is currently preparing to begin her law school education in New York. She is passionate about the spiritual advancements of all followers of Christ. Her favorite scripture is Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”