Written by Randy C. Cowell, M.S, LUTCF, CFP®, CRPC®
I once attended a financial planning symposium whose theme was “Living in Uncertain Times.” For three days we discussed planning issues and discussed the fact that the only thing certain in life is that life is uncertain. If you have lived any length of time at all you will certainly concur with this statement. Everyone can agree that life can—and inevitably will—throw you a curve ball. Having analyzed thousands of financial plans and counseled hundreds of individuals and families, I can say with some authority that debt ranks as the number one menace to the wellbeing of Christian and non-Christian families in America. It contributes to more divorces than any other cause and deprives all those with it from the joys of financial freedom. The fact that it exists within the boundaries of your financial plan makes you more susceptible to life’s “financial” curveballs.
Seize the Opportunity
In the writings of Paul to the church at Ephesus he encouraged them to “wake up” and smell the coffee! “Be very careful . . . how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16. What great advice! We should take advantage of opportunities. (It is not an accident that you are reading this article.) If we continue this study of opportunity we are led to the Latin word for opportunity, Kairos, which literally translated means “toward the port.” In ancient times, sailing was extremely difficult. Returning to a port was no easy task. The wind and the tides offered the only means of power, so the crew would have to recognize and seize every opportunity available if they hoped to succeed in their task. For ancient sailors, to seize the opportunity or their Kairos, to catch the wind riding the tides home was the epitome of recognizing the situation and acting upon it.
Knowing and Doing
In 1st Chronicles Chapter 12 there is an accounting of tribes as they gathered for battle in support of David, their new king. One tribe stands out above all the others, not because of their numbers or their battle skills, but as verse 32 describes, the men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs with all their relatives under their command—assembled to join David. The men of Issachar are singled out here because they “understood” the times and they “knew” what had to be done. From a financial perspective “understanding the times” can be interpreted as knowing where you are on your personal financial roadmap. One of my favorite sayings is, “if you don’t know where you are, any road can take you to your destination.” Not recognizing and taking responsibility for your financial shortcomings will only delay the inevitable.
Being a Man of Issachar
I think we can all agree that we live in uncertain times. It seems that uncertainty abounds all around us. Whether it is concern for your job, your retirement check or your children who seem to be struggling more and more every day, it is quite apparent that we are living in trying ties. I am reminded of the opening line to Charles Dickens 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, which reads, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age foolishness . . .” You might think you are describing 2019, but in fact the setting for the novel was pre-French revolution. No matter if you are a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of guy, YOU too can be a man of Issachar! How? By recognizing the problem areas in your finances and personally taking responsibility for them. Just like those brave men that gathered to do battle for their king, you will be doing battle for your family. Recognizing how debt is adversely affecting you and your family will be your first step toward being a G.O.O.D. man for your family, one that is committed to Getting Out Of Debt. Get started today and let us know how we can help!
Randy is the President and Senior Strategist of ACT Financial Services, Inc. He is a Certified Financial Planner®, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®, Investment Advisor Representative of HTK, Inc. and recognized as a Fellow by the Underwriters Training Council (LUTCF). His expertise combined with a unique “Biblically-based” philosophy, has served his clients well for over three decades.
Registered Representative of and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, LLC (HTK). Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC 4111 S. Darlington Ave., Suite 800, Tulsa, OK 74135 (918) 664-6511. HTK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. ACT Financial Services, Inc. is independent of Hornor, Townsend & Kent, LLC. HTK does not provide legal or tax advice. 483857AL_APR21