Mark decided to expand his computer business. But it was the early 1990’s, and many, including him, were caught off-guard as the economy came to a grinding halt. The ensuing debt from no new sales and very little income caused him great stress. Adding to his worries, a skin condition appeared on his hands making the work he did fixing computers a severe challenge.
Mark’s experience of the adverse effect financial stress has on our health is not uncommon.
Dr. John Gathergood of the University of Nottingham, UK, studied the correlation between carrying debt and health. He found that those struggling to pay off their debts and loans are twice as likely to experience mental health problems, including depression and severe anxiety. Debt freedom, he states, is freedom from worry and can also lead to a noticeable improvement in mental and physical health.
The current headlines indicate Canadians are slipping deeper into debt. For many, it may seem the mountain of debt can only be resolved through a windfall inheritance or winning the lottery – neither of which are overly reliable sources.
Some experts say that people will never be free of the fear and ill health that come with debt if they don’t explore how their thinking affects the negative emotions that lead to overspending. Brent Kessel, author of ‘It’s Not About the Money’, suggests that we examine our thought and identify the feelings [such as anger, frustration, self-loathing] that contribute to spending beyond our means.
He writes: ‘The goal is not to avoid those feelings, but to be relaxed and open to them. If you can make it to the other side of those feelings, there is a huge amount of self-love waiting for you.”
In my experience, loving yourself is about letting go of the human picture and discovering a divine sense of Love that opens up an infinite resource of ideas and possibilities to solve the challenge you face.
Mark realized that living with the feelings of fear and worry about insufficient income was not healthy. He wanted a reliable solution to his problem and felt the resolution to both the business problem and the skin condition could be found through prayer.
Through this approach, he took on a more spiritual view of his employment. His prayers led him to the idea that he was working in the firm of ‘God & son’ – and, as such, he was entitled to an unlimited supply of good. He listened for creative ideas to share professionally with his clients. This verse from Corinthians was a great help: ‘And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.’ (NIV9:8)
From similar Bible insights, he knew that his abilities were the expression of his God-given talents – talents that applied uniquely to each of God’s children. Working in this firm was a job with security and rewards – he was employed by an employer who loved him greatly.
Not only did this new, spiritual view of himself and his work result in the skin condition clearing up, but also an unexpected client brought in the needed funds to cover his current debt. The business continued to grow and meet its, and his, financial needs.
Today’s economy and our job security and income may seem unpredictable – and debt may feel like the inevitable consequence. But God, as an infinitely wise Creator, provides each of us with talents and opportunities proving more reliable than chance windfalls. Debt can be resolved and health can be restored.
This article can also be read in several Metroland new sites, such as Simcoe News.