Seven Ways to Recession-Proof Your Life

by Andy Wood on February 12, 2008

in Ability, Esteem, Insight, Leadership, Life Currency, Love, Time, Words

Financial NewsRecession.  It’s the word on everybody’s mind these days.  Congress, in an election year, is scrambling to give people some of their money back in order to avoid it (which begs the obvious question…).  All the media, the experts, and the average Joes are all talking about some aspect of it.  Somebody did a poll a couple of days ago, and it seems the average American believes if we’d just get out of Iraq, the recession would get better.  Uh, OK, I guess.

What most of us are interested in is, can I keep what’s happening in a national and global economy from happening to me?  Yes!  But first it’s important to understand that economists are measuring only one thing.

What to recession-proof your life?  Get a bigger definition of the word, “economy.”  Try this one as I first heard it from Jack TaylorEconomy is the exchange of all the commodities of life. 

If you’re finding yourself a bit short on cash, or if you’re worried about it, why not try a different kind of currency?  Here are seven ways you can be wealthy, with or without money:

1.  Leadership
Everybody leads, and the best leaders add value to themselves and the world around them.  Look for ways to extend your influence.  Here’s a hint:  don’t start by trying to tell people what to do.  Start by serving.  Caring.  Acting on someone else’s behalf, for their benefit.  Be an effective team member.  Help somebody else succeed or reach a goal.  Help somebody who needs help.  It will make you wealthy and influential when you need help.

2.  Insight
Live your life in the relentless pursuit of understanding.  Brian Tracy reminds us that if you read an hour a day in your field, and you will complete 50 books in a year – and be in the top one percent of your field.  When God invited Israel’s new king, Solomon, to ask for anything, he requested – not gold or power or fame – but an understanding heart (1 Kings 3:6-9).   Here was a man who faced enormous political and family baggage, and the task of building a new temple in Jerusalem.  A little power and money might have been nice.  Instead, he asked for wisdom, and got much more.  So can you.  Learn.  Listen.  Grow.  Be wealthy.

3.  Ability
No one can do everything, but everybody can do something.  Whether it’s natural ability, an acquired skill, or a spiritual gift, you have a talent mix that makes you wonderfully unique, with breathtaking potential.  You can also develop new skills, or improve on the ones you already have.  Don’t wait until you’re standing in an unemployment line to figure out what you’re good at.  And don’t use your abilities just to consume them on yourself.  Look for ways to invest in others, and in God’s kingdom.  And build your own “dream team” of people who can do what you can’t.

4.  Esteem
All of us crave honor and respect.  But like other commodities in God’s economy, esteem isn’t gained by grasping for it or demanding it.  When you give esteem away, you invest in your own future, as well as the future of those who desperately need it.  God offers esteem in the form of those powerful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).   Parents offer it in the form of their blessing, friends through their gratitude or silent admiration, lovers through their praise or a tender glance.  When you give honor to others, you enrich your life in both tangible and intangible ways.

5.  Love
Love gets tested when life gets hard.  Love anyway.  The Bible presents love as an action.  More than a feeling or state, love involves taking the initiative to seek another’s well-being, regardless of the cost.  It’s gritty, willing to serve and to face the worst in others.  It is elegant, often reflecting to others a beauty they hardly see in themselves.  It may or may not be accompanied by strong feelings.  But it is always accompanied by deliberate action.  Michael W. Smith puts it this way in one of his songs:  “Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away.”   And that’s what love is all about.

6.  Words
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).   Your words can act as a weapon, more powerful than a fist, or as a healing salve, awakening courage in a stagnant heart.  Words are powerful. You can undo the things you’ve done, but you can never unsay the things you’ve said.  Once said, words take on a life of their own.  But it works both ways!  God created the world by speaking it into existence; then he formed us in his image.  What does that suggest to you about your creative power?  Encourage.  Inspire.  Teach.  Communicate.  Use your words as a creative force.  They will, in turn, create extraordinary value for you.

7.  Time
Time is the one commodity that keeps every living human on the exact same budget.  Paul warns us to “redeem the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).   Your time is your life on a calculator.  What you do with it reflects who or what you value, and determines your destiny.  Dr. Jim Keith, a mentor and friend, once explained to me why he routinely got out of bed not long after a lot of us had turned in.  In his self-deprecating way, he said, “I figured out that you guys are a lot smarter than I am.  But maybe if I could get a head start on you, I could keep up.”  Need I tell you, he’s a LifeVestor, whose work has impacted thousands of churches across America?

Can you be wealthy with money?  Of course.  But you can be even wealthier when money is hard to come by.  Create value in these tangible and intangible areas, and you’ll find that money will be the least of your concerns.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mama September 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

Andy, this is so true. Others may enjoy reading this who are not on Facebook. One person is your Aunt Carolyn. Her new e-mail add. is

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