Luke 16:10-12 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?(NKJV)
I believe you, like most people, want a better life for yourslef and for your family. If you want something different in life you have to be willing to do something you have never done before.
I want to share with you three things that will help you on your pathway to success. There are three main areas of your life that will help you be successful, and then stay successful. I have seen many people gain quick success only to fizzle out because they don’t know how to maintain it. My pastor points these three things out frequently, this is my take on it.
1) You must be disciplined in your finances.
I know many of you cringe at the idea of the dreaded budget. Seeing how much you make compared to what you owe and spend can be disheartening. However, if you don’t learn how to budget your money it will not matter how much you make, you will always spend more. Two things every person needs is a budget and a savings account. Until you learn to save and live by a budget you will stay in the cycle of poverty. You spend more than you make and you live pay check to pay check. You must learn to pay God first, then yourself and your bills first and then learn to pay off debt and not be wasteful of your finances.
When you feel compelled to buy things that you want but don’t really need, or run through the drive-thru for convenience, or spend a night out on the town, stop and think about what that costs you. Ask yourself how many hours do I have to work to pay for this. You can do this by taking what you would spend and dividing it by how much you make. This was brought to light to me in a conversation about a young lady who earned less in a day than the cost of bag of fast food she just handed out to one person. What are you working for?
2) You must be disciplined in what belongs to another.
It is easy to think “If it were mine, I would…” but the truth is, if you can not take care of something that does not belong to you, you will not take care of something that does. How you take care of things in your possession is a direct reflection of how you will eventually take care of your own possessions. You need to take care of things now so you will get in the habit of doing it later.
3) You must be disciplined in the little things.
Let’s face it, in the scheme of life, most things are little. This is about walking in integrity (Doing the right thing even when no one else is watching). This is about putting your best foot forward, even when you don’t want to and even when you think it won’t matter.
If you say you will do something, do it. Don’t take advantage of people – just because someone will do something, doesn’t mean its right for you to ask them to. When you borrow something pay it back. When you return something, send it back in good condition. Don’t take something that someone else needs, and don’t take things that do not belong to you. You need to take care of your family, but it should not be at someone else’s expense.
How you handle things at work is another area. How you represent yourself at work is a representation of the company. How you represent yourself out in the community is a reflection of everything you claim to be (mother, daughter, sister, employee, resident, Christian, friend, team member, etc.) and you never know who is watching you, learning from you, looking up to you or where that person will show up next in your life. How you handle yourself in front of others may seem like a little thing, but people take notice of things that we take for granted – and they can come back up to bite you at the least opportune time.
These are three small principles that if you put into practice, will lead you to success. There will be times that you fail, I promise. It is okay, just get back up, apologize, and get back on track. Life is what we make of it, and it is your choice what you make of it.