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This newly revised and expanded edition decries the myth that Christians must be poor and gives readers the keys to financial prosperity. Dr. Anderson combines biblical principles with expert financial advice, equipping readers with the tools they need to attain the riches they deserve. An invaluable resource for current or would-be investors or entrepreneurs, this book not only inspires readers to become educated about finances but also spurs them on to action and compels them to move forward confidently to achieve their financial dreams.
New content includes callouts and new chapters on how to invest safely in today's market and on understanding that Jesus wasn't poor.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Dr. C. Thomas Anderson is the founder and senior pastor of The Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona. He has devoted his life and his ministry to teaching life and truth. He appears frequently on a variety of television programs, including Praise the Lord, Word for Winners, and The 700 Club, and has authored several books, all intended to help people find success in every aspect of life. With nearly thirty years of experience in ministry, he continues to travel the world, and his humor and motivational ability place him in great demand.
Read an Excerpt
Becoming A Millionaire God's WayGetting Money to You, Not from You
By C. Thomas Anderson
FAITHWORDSCopyright © 2006 Word for Winners
All right reserved.
Chapter OneGet a Grip
THE FIRST STEP IN ACHIEVING WEALTH IS TO ANSWER A SIMPLE question: "Where am I right now?"
This task may prove a little disconcerting, but it is important for two reasons. First of all, most people are nowhere near arriving at the financial position they ought to be. Don't be concerned about this fact, but be aware. Don't throw up your hands in despair and give up; instead, let this reality inspire you to make some changes. Be concerned in the sense that you know you have some work to do-which means bringing your finances under control so you can do something with them.
Secondly, and more importantly, if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you need to start. Most people don't even know how much money they have in their checkbook, much less where it is going. Many don't even know how to balance their checkbook. Find out where you are starting from.
To begin this process you need to establish your net worth.
This is a simple matter of listing all of your assets and how much they are worth. If you converted everything you own into cash, how much would you have?
You must be very objective in this task in order to assemble an accurate picture. An inflated and unrealistic appraisal of your assets will probably make you feel good about yourself, but it won'thelp you reach the goal of becoming wealthy. Be objective and realistic:
For example, if you bought a refrigerator for $1,000 one month ago, you cannot count it as a $1,000 asset today. If you try to sell it you might only get $300 for it, so in reality it is a $300 dollar asset. If you are making payments on it and still owe $500, then it does not even count as an asset.
Determine how much equity you have in your house, your furniture, your car, everything you own. When you add all the figures together, this is your net worth.
Now determine what your net worth should be at this point in your life. Take your taxable income for the last year and multiply it by your age. (If computing these numbers for a husband and wife together, use either person's age, but you will be better using the older one.) Divide that number by ten and you will have the amount your net worth should be at this point in your life. By subtracting your actual net worth you can see how far off you are.
If you are like most people, the resulting figure will be far below your potential. Though some are starting at this figure,
DETERMINING WHAT YOUR NET WORTH SHOULD BE
Sample of figuring what net worth should be.
Taxable Income for last year: 50,000 Age (in years): 50 $50,000 x 50 $2,500,000 divided by 10 = $250,000 liquid net worth
most are behind. And even if you are behind, you now have a goal to work toward. This number of what amount should be your net worth is only a guideline, however; don't let it become a limit. There is no reason you can't achieve hundreds of times that amount.
The next question to consider: "Now that I know where I am, how did I get here?" This is the focus of the rest of the chapter. It is not an accident of fate that you are where you are. Your current financial picture is the result of a combination of decisions you have made in the past. If you do not change the choices you made in the past, you will end up in the same place in the future. If you are not satisfied with where you are, then you must change some things or the same patterns will continue and you will remain in the same place in the future. Proverbs 23:7 says it very simply, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Ultimately your thoughts from yesterday put you where you are today. If you are in poverty today it is because you thought and accepted poverty yesterday. If you want to be a millionaire tomorrow, you must start thinking like a millionaire today.
How does a millionaire think? A millionaire who loses all his money will begin immediately to look for ways to make it all back again. His first thought is of where he can invest. A millionaire who goes broke today will earn it back many times over. We hear about the one who lost all his money in the stock market and jumped out of a window, but we don't hear about the dozens, even hundreds, who make it all back the next day or the next week. A millionaire thinks of how much he will make, not how much he lost.
Knowing where you came from will help you make necessary changes. The bad thought patterns you have today are really habitual. Though you have had them for so long that you may think of them as natural, you weren't born with them. You learned them somewhere, mainly from your parents, your family, and your experiences. Those patterns of thinking began in childhood and have influenced your life choices and even the kind of work you have looked for.
For our study, we will identify six types of childhood homes or home environments that have affected many people adversely. Most of us can find our own experience within one of these descriptions.
If you grew up in a controlling home, you were probably not allowed to do anything for yourself. Controlling parents won't let children dress themselves, feed themselves, or choose activities for themselves. By the time such children are in school they often can't tie their own shoes or even butter their own bread. As children they never learned to take on responsibility, and as adults they generally feel they can't. Such people will shirk responsibility for the rest of their lives. They can't make decisions because they were never allowed to make decisions. Children of controlling homes avoid any kind of job that carries much responsibility with it. They will believe and will say, "I can't do it. I don't know how." Parents who are controlling in this way usually gain a sense of self-value by making children feel like they are doing something useful and self-sacrificing by taking care of them. Unfortunately, parents also limit their children's ability to take on the kind of responsibility necessary to excel in life.
A similar type of home is grounded in fear. Children who grow up in fear generally have no motivation. They are afraid to do anything or try anything that might result in failure. They don't make decisions because they are afraid of making the wrong decision.
Children need to learn responsibility for themselves at an early age. We have two sons, Scot and Jason. By the time they were two and three months old, I was standing them up and holding them so they could do leg lifts and strengthen their muscles. By the time they were seven months old, they were already walking. At two years old, they were tying their own shoes and dressing themselves. Sometimes the clothes were on backwards and their shoes were on the wrong feet, but they were trained to take on the challenge without fear. At an early age they were responsible for themselves.
We never had a problem getting them to go to bed. We trained them to know that when it was bedtime, they went. They never argued. Even if we didn't tell them, when it was time, they went. We never had to get them up for school. They got up and went. We never had to get them up to go to college. They got up and went. We never had to get them up to go to work. They got up and went. Today Scot and Jason carry a great amount of responsibility.
They virtually run Living Word Bible Church. They are not overwhelmed by their responsibilities; they are instead excited. They seek responsibility out. I'm not bragging. I'm giving you an example of how critical it is that children learn to be responsible for themselves at an early age. It has a tremendous impact on their future.
A third type of childhood environment is the insecure home, which often occurs when there is divorce or separation. Money becomes a problem and the parents keep telling the kids over and over how bad things are. The children learn to worry about having enough, something that kids would probably not even notice if they weren't told repeatedly. By the time they are adults, they are constantly striving to gain a little security. If they can just get a few dollars in the bank, just make enough money to get by, just have a secure job that will give them a small retirement, then they'll be okay. Their whole lives are spent trying to be secure-and never learning to take any risks. They are never able to operate in faith because they can't step out of that security and into what is likely to be both uncertain and unfamiliar.
Gaining great wealth requires taking some risks. As you become financially literate you will avoid taking foolish risks, but no investment is a sure thing. There is always some risk. In 1806 Napoleon said, "Glory can only be won where there is danger." Those who seek security find it very difficult to become truly wealthy.
Some grew up in homes where there was abuse-physical, sexual, or emotional. The message perceived by the abused child is that he has no value. Such children often turn to drugs or alcohol or tobacco-anything that abuses their bodies. They rebel against social norms and have a very difficult time believing that they could ever amount to anything important enough to actually fit into society. They can't accumulate wealth because everything they gain is squandered in self-abuse, which deep down they believe they deserve. They just don't fit in.
A fifth type of home is based on performance. You were only loved if you did your job well. Children raised in this environment are always trying to please their parents, their teachers, their employers ... everybody. I love to hire these people. They always work very hard, but they never learn to respect those they are trying to please. They never learn to build. They also never take risks because they are afraid of failure. If they make an investment and it is not successful, they believe they won't be loved anymore.
A sixth problem is the home where children are given too much responsibility at an early age. We already talked about the importance of training children to take on responsibility for themselves. The problem comes when they are forced to become responsible for others at too early an age. For example, when there is a divorce, a son might become the man of the house at eight or ten years old. Or, Mom is working all the time and one of the children (usually the oldest) has to take care of the younger siblings. In our society where the traditional nuclear family with both a mother and a father in the same home account for less than twenty-five percent of all families, this can be a very significant problem.
These children grow up without their childhood. They mature too quickly and react in one of two ways: Either they spend their lives trying to be kids again or they become so overly responsible they can't take chances. They can't risk any kind of investment because it would be irresponsible in their minds. You may have identified yourself in one of these categories. It is important to realize that you don't have to simply accept the direction your childhood pointed you toward. Now that you recognize the problem, you can deal with it. A lot of parents did a lot of damage to their kids, but you don't have to live out the damage. The Bible tells us to honor and love our parents, but we don't have to honor the junk they put in us. We can move on. In fact, we have to.
Overcoming the Past
The Bible is filled with accounts of great men and women of God who overcame bad upbringing. In Genesis 25-27 we see something of Jacob's childhood. He grew up in a home with considerable insecurity. His father clearly and openly loved his brother, Esau, more than him and gave Esau preferential treatment. His mom and dad argued religion all the time. She wanted the blessing to go to the younger son, the one God wanted. His dad was more hung up on tradition and wanted the blessing for the oldest son. Jacob and his mother had to deceive Isaac when he was old and blind and so sick he couldn't tell the difference between a hairy arm and a goat skin.
Jacob's own brother hated him so much he wanted to kill him. Jacob had to run for his life. It is hard to imagine a more unlikely candidate to achieve wealth. He would probably have been voted least likely to succeed by his graduating class. In his lowest moment, however, he made a promise to God.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You. (Gen. 28:20-22)
Jacob promised he would start tithing. This was the beginning of change in him but for fourteen years, he didn't make a dime. He worked seven years for a wife and it was the wrong one. He worked another seven years for the other wife. He still didn't have any money to tithe on. He finally went to his father-in-law, Laban, who was also his employer, and complained.
Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. (Gen. 31:41)
Many could make the same complaint about their employer. Your boss is ripping you off, paying you minimal wages while you make him wealthy. It is a common complaint. But somewhere along the way Jacob made a big change in his thinking. He began to work smarter.
And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, "Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you." (Gen. 30:25-26)
In other words, "I've been here all this time. I've got nothing to show for it. I haven't experienced any blessing, haven't even had enough money to tithe. I'm tired of wasting my time. I want to get out of here."
In verse 28 Laban said, "Name me your wages, and I will give it." So Jacob got smart. He said to Laban, "Let me have all of the animals with blemishes on them. You don't want them anyway. You keep all the others." Jacob was no longer just working hard and he was not thinking anymore in the way that his early life taught him to think. He was thinking like a millionaire. Instead of seeking security and just getting by, he decided to do something, take a few chances, change some things-and God finally had something to bless. Jacob peeled some bark from tree branches and put it in front of the animal's watering troughs. God blessed Jacob's obedience and his efforts, and the flocks bore speckled and spotted young. Scripture makes it clear that his life changed: "Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous" (Gen. 30:43).
Jacob overcame his past by starting to think differently. He gained a new perspective on his life. Later he attributed the change to a dream.
And it happened, at the time when the flocks conceived, that I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the flocks were streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted. Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, "Jacob." And I said, "Here I am." And He said, "Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me." (Gen. 31:10-13)
The pattern Jacob went through to become exceedingly wealthy is shown in these verses. First he committed himself to tithing and it is significant that, while this commitment did not make him wealthy overnight, it was at that moment that God took notice of his situation. God was working on him from that moment on. But he had a lot to overcome. For a while he worked hard but had nothing to show for it. Then he got hold of a new vision from God in a dream and, as a result, started thinking like a millionaire. He looked for ways to change his position and God blessed him because of it.
Many others in the Bible overcame their past in the same way. Moses was abandoned by his family, left to float away in a basket. He was driven out of Egypt as a murderer and lived for years on the back side of the wilderness. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. He spent years in prison because of the lies of a vindictive woman, even though he had done nothing wrong. Abraham, David and Solomon all had stuff to get over. But they all did it. Paul said it this way:
Excerpted from Becoming A Millionaire God's Way by C. Thomas Anderson Copyright © 2006 by Word for Winners. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Get a Grip 1
Attitude Determines Altitude 16
Light a Fire 33
Get over It 53
You Talk Too Much 69
You're Brain-Dead 89
What, Me Work? 122
Small Start, Big Finish 139
Bulldog Tenacity 151
Distraction, No Action 167
When Going Uphill, Downshift 179
Jesus Wasn't Poor 191
Becoming Financially Literate 213
Conclusion, but Not the End 220
About the Author 231