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Words of Abundance

Your Host, Randy Petrick
  • Writer's pictureRandy Petrick


Updated: Mar 28


A woman sitting on a couch looking pensively out the window

I've been reading Nelson Searcy's book The Generosity Secret, and he got me thinking about how we can reduce our fears and worries. In chapter 12 (Moving Beyond Your Limiting Beliefs: How to Silence the Misguided Financial Voices in Your Head), he presents this "secret."

GENEROSITY SECRET: Your dominating thoughts about money create your financial reality.

Hmm. How to silence the misguided voices in our heads. "Okay," I thought, "I would like to know how to do that." Searcy's generosity secret also interested me. Our thoughts do seem to help create our reality. What intrigued me most, though, was that Searcy followed the secret with this verse from Psalms:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. --Psalm 19:14 NLT

Interesting. I liked how Searcy connected the dots between our thoughts, reality, and the desire to please God. I read on and soon came to a section Searcy labeled Talking to Yourself about Money in which he said,

" carry on conversations with yourself all the time too. We all do... You may not even realize you are doing it. But whether you're aware of it or not, you talk to yourself all day every day through the thoughts you allow to consume your mind. Even if you have never keyed in to them, your conscious and subconscious thoughts are your constant companions. They drive and form your every waking moment. How you choose to direct your thoughts in every area will ultimately define your life."

Although the book's focus is on financial matters, Searcy made it clear that this "secret" could also apply to other areas of our lives. Yes, indeed. I could see it easily applying to things like our health, our productivity, and our relationships—almost any area of our lives!

Every day, Searcy says, your cumulative thoughts and subconscious beliefs "either keep you where you are, pull you backward, or propel you into a better future." I liked the idea that our thoughts can propel us into a better future and was ready to learn how.

A large round, brown sign reading "Listen" set up against a vivid blue sky

Searcy says the first step in that process is to "Listen to your internal dialogue." If we listen, we can note individual thoughts that pass through our minds, analyze them, and then act on them deliberately if we choose to.

"That makes sense," I thought. "Once we start deliberately listening, we can watch for negative thoughts about ourselves and replace them with better ones." Here's an example Searcy gave:

Old Thinking: I can't stop spending. I'll never get out of debt.

Replacement: I am content with what I have right here, right now.

I love that thought about contentment. In my experience, contentment is essential to learning to live on less than we earn, getting out of debt, and becoming more generous.

Dave Ramsey says, "In 1 Timothy 6:6–8, Paul told his young friend Timothy that contentment was the key to great gain. Why? Because contentment helps you keep wealth in proper perspective." That's true - and I've been thinking a lot about it.

For example, there's a man living a mile or two from us who lives a lifestyle that threatens my contentment whenever I think about him. He has exotic sports cars (recently purchasing a new $160,000 Corvette I nearly drooled on), an enormous motor home (think the size of a bus!), and a home theater that rivals most THX or IMAX theaters I've ever been in. Not to mention, he also owns vacation homes in several exotic locales.

He has a level of wealth that lets him support his lavish lifestyle, so I don't believe he's living above his means. But observing his "chase" of pleasure makes me wonder if there will ever come a day when he realizes that amassing worldly treasures will never bring him contentment. I hope, as someone said, he doesn't climb to the top of the ladder only to realize his ladder was propped against the wrong wall.

You see, contentment is tricky. Even when we are in a relationship with God and aware of His deep love for us, it doesn't automatically move us into contentment. Sadly, it took many years for me to realize that worldly wealth would never bring me contentment. Praise God for being patient with me. I'm finally beginning to understand the lesson my grandfather taught me when we sat in effortless silence on the front porch of his mountain cabin. He was utterly content.

An orange ladybug resting on one petal of a white daisy against a blurred background

These days, I have my own porch, and I'm now the age Grandpa was many years ago. But I finally get it, Grandpa! God has been showing me how much contentment there can be in just quietly enjoying His creation. I love sitting on my porch and appreciating the flowers, trees, and clouds...along with the same magnificent Rocky Mountains you so dearly loved. I discovered I could even be content just admiring the glory of a ladybug on a leaf. Ladybugs make me happy.

Am I always happy and content? Well, no. But I appreciate the apostle Paul a bit more. How wise he was in Romans 12:2:

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

God is transforming changing the way I think.

Remember, we can harbor helpful, positive thoughts and eliminate those that don't benefit us. Why not keep a few positive thoughts right at hand for when you need them? I do. Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • I'm learning to make better financial decisions.

  • Seeing my situation from a higher perspective allows me to make better decisions and take more appropriate actions.

  • I love being a steward of God's assets and becoming a better steward every day.

  • I am happy! I love being alive in God's world and letting Him work in and through me to accomplish His will.

Fear and worry need not be our constant companions. Our circumstances may not always be what we wish, but Paul says God's will for us is good, pleasing, and perfect. Internalizing that truth is the key to decreasing our fear and worry:

A very young, exuberant little girl leaning against a tree looking straight toward you with a look of utter delight on her face

Maintaining fear and worry is hard when we are busy focusing on good, pleasing, and perfect.

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