All posts by Crystal

In A World Where Emptiness Abounds

We live in a world where emptiness abounds. We know something is lacking within our heart of hearts. It’s beyond what’s intellectually understandable. The struggle to finding certainty is beyond being able to mentally accept things at face value. It’s way deeper.

Choices. Sometimes, I simply come to a point like this. I still have an intact knowledge of who I am and how things are supposed to be. But I don’t live it all the time.

That is probably why I get by. But it’s not as it healthy as it should be. Being too contented with one’s pace would not be healthy. Being too passive would undermine one’s consciousness about the real consequences. Passivity is probably my disease.

Come to think of it. All these years, I probably had only a very thin connection with God. Now that’s relative. The description is valid because I tend to just get by. Maybe because that is how I was brought up, passively.

I’m describing the connection as thin because it is. I still don’t feel fully well how it is to be best friends with Jesus. I probably know. And, I might be able to imagine how such a relationship is like. But that’s a bit different from making the possibility a daily reality.

All I’m saying is that my mind can run and run and run and it gets me mentally tired. In times like this, I can just blurt things out without having a total emotional attachment to my thoughts. I write my thoughts out just to relieve myself. And, probably, to extract more sense from what I’ve been going through.

I just thought about two words. I’ve mentioned the first one. Passivity and impulsiveness. How can the two go together?

Well, they can go together within a person like me. Most of the time I’m passive. If something really attracts me, I can get really impulsive. So I can’t say I’m already self-controlled. That’s yet too far from reality.

But I know, I know. I need to get it right. My mind has probably just become an expert at reasoning. And I had too many rationalizations that I have forgotten to listen, really listen to God.

It’s just that I had to start over, again. It sounds too ambitious knowing the failings of the past. But there’s no way I should give up. There’s more to my destiny than just giving up. I should be thankful for the experiences that I’ve had in life — those that made me somewhat resilient. But too much of it makes me passive, and it’s not the best way to live the Christian life.

So, I’m here today, lacking some sleep, ending up not writing an “optimized” post. Maybe it doesn’t really matter, at least not this time.

It’s just time to unwind and unmind. I probably had been too mindful about my thinking or my rationalizations. I sound like I’ve been masking my face all this time. It’s okay. I just need to talk to God right now. I know He’ll listen. I’ll get there. I only needed time.

And, most probably, reality.

The Curse of Loans and Debts

One can have a whole other site on this topic and not get exhausted about creating a new post. In other words, there’s just a lot to say on loans and debts. To focus on the curse of loans and debts, however, is another thing. If it’s just for discussion’s sake, it can be helpful to those who are also struggling. If one, on the other hand, would just think about the curse rather than the solution, he or she will soon get depressed.

So this article intends to discuss what needs to be and leaves the rest of the writing space for pieces of encouragement. Who knows you might have landed on this page just for that purpose — some encouragement for all the depressing thoughts you’ve been having about your growing debts. Cheer up! You’ll find hope along the way.

1. I’ve Also Been Struggling With Debts

Young as I am, I’ve already been struggling with debts. I tell you, I didn’t imagine myself to be plunged in such a drowning situation. I, too, had told myself I will never suffer from debts like my mother is right now. And yet, it happened.

It started out with a thought that I really needed to have extra money for a series of events that potentially cost a real lot. Already I was not being a good steward at that time. So I was good, so good at reasoning out that I had practical needs to be met and the amount meant for offerings to others can wait. I was being selfish, and my selfishness caught me along the way.

2. It Wasn’t My First Time To Be In Great Debt

Long before this current situation, I had freed myself from debts. This means that I had once been in dire debt and by God’s grace, I was set free. By means of God’s blessing and my repentance, I finally paid off my bills and overdue payables. I then had more than enough for my needs.

Later, though, I was again confronted with bills to pay — not my own, but my parents’.  I was fine with the bills once, but I got to a point when I thought I’m not having enough to spare at the end of the month anymore. I had no savings! I thought it was time to cheat.

I reasoned out. The moment I reasoned out, I was being wiser than God. It was a fatal mistake. The first time had to have a second time as a result. In other words, I was eventually in debt, again.

The moment I reasoned out, I was being wiser than God.

3. I Don’t Want To Have A Third Time Anymore

You know how hard it is to trust a resolution once the mistake (for which that resolution was made) has been done twice.  But, really, I don’t want to have a third time anymore — I simply want to be out of debt. The good news is that this can be possible.

I have read a lot of success stories about people who once were literally bankrupt and are now enjoying financial freedom. I wish to enjoy the same, not because I want to be a millionaire for myself, but I want to simply have something else to think about each day, something nobler to accomplish than just contributing to the growing ego of a certain institution or company, something to live for that can outlast life itself.

I want to enjoy financial freedom because I want to have something nobler to accomplish than just contributing to the growing ego of a certain institution or company, something to live for that can outlast life itself.

And, I want to extend financial blessings to others. There is work to be done for people who have nothing, people who are suffering, people who are tired of having to ask what to eat next just to survive the day. I don’t want to have a third time of being in debt again because there is so much more to live for, so much to do, so much to explore, so many to bless, so much more to accomplish in behalf of others.

4. For How Can Financial Prisoners Bless?

I’ve been thinking about what fellow Christians have been preaching about financial freedom. While I do not endorse the “prosperity gospel,” I do believe that everyone who has again become a child of God (by redemption) doesn’t have to beg for bread. Still, prosperity lies in obedience, but believers — even the most faithful ones —are not exempted from economic adversities. Just recall what happened to Job.

Eventually, after the fiery trial that he went through, Job was again financially free. God has, in fact, doubly blessed him. I do believe that if Job lived in our day and age, he would be seen as a faithful tithe-giver and someone who was always generous. He would be among the richest, but he would not be a hoarder of riches. He won’t be a financial prisoner either, but a financial conduit who would be blessed in order to be a blessing.

For how can financial prisoners bless? Indeed, debt is a prison. Our goal as financially struggling Christians is to be able to settle all our debts and “shun debt as leprosy” (see Counsels on Stewardship by EGW).

We Can Get Rid Of All Our Debts

There is still so much to say concerning how, but for now, it should be enough to realize why we needed to and be assured that we can, indeed, get rid of all our debts. It can take time, and you can even be living on just porridge and bread for all that time. As the inspired writer says in Letter 4, 1877,

Make a solemn covenant with God that by His blessing you will pay your debts and then owe no man anything if you live on porridge and bread.

Eventually, it won’t matter if you really want to clear all your debts. The reward of financial freedom at the end of the day is so much sweeter than the temporal sacrifice. You’ll spend the rest of your life freely living, freely giving, and freely blessing, anyway.

God bless you and me on our individual financial commitment.