According to Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” As Christians, we often put great effort into making sure our testimony is right before others. The importance of a “good name” is not for us to boast of ourselves but rather to reflect a good testimony for our Lord. One area that is commonly overlooked in regard to our testimony is our finances. A poor financial reputation will always cause our testimony for the Lord to be tainted. Here are some ways to protect our testimony when it comes to the area of our finances.
- Pay bills on time. Consistent late payments reflect a disregard to the payee.
- Don’t expect something for nothing. We often experience financial difficulties and expect the services we have been receiving to continue even though we stopped paying for them.
- Contact your creditor and make arrangements for payment. A good faith effort to pay back a debt goes a long way when it comes to our testimony.
- Earn extra income to pay off the debt. This shows your creditor that your intentions to pay back the debt are sincere.
- Don’t offer promises you cannot keep. Honesty is always the best policy. Don’t give an unrealistic time frame in which you can pay back your debt.
- Make debt repayment a priority. Don’t spend money on unnecessary items while neglecting to pay current debt.
- Ignoring the debt will not make it go away. Ignoring a payment will only worsen our testimony as time progresses.
- Don’t bounce checks. Consistently bouncing checks reflects poor character.
- Request a letter from your bank. There are times when returned checks are a result of bank error. In instances such as this, request that a letter from the bank be sent to those vendors that were affected. Be sure the bank explains their error in the letter.
- Check your credit report. It is possible for someone to be unaware of a negative entry on a credit report—and these negative entries can sometimes be errors. It would be worth a periodic credit report check to prevent our testimony from suffering due to an error on a credit report.
Remember, a reputation of poor financial practices ultimately gives us a bad testimony for our Lord. It is never too late to work at changing our financial reputation.
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As a single military man, Brother Slye began attending NVBC. Not long after, he was married, and in 1985 he came on staff as the maintenance director for the church. His responsibilities have varied over the years. For the past many years, he has served as the business manager, overseeing the finances for this entire ministry.