The Value of Planning

By:  Cassandra Laymon

As a long-time productivity “junkie” and goal setter, you won’t be surprised that I love January! A fresh slate with new possibilities.  Over many years of setting and breaking resolutions, I have learned that real change does not come from hoping or wishing for transformation (lose the weight, stop smoking, become debt-free…you know what I’m talking about) nor does it come from trying to plan out the daily details of your life so closely that when the unexpected occurs it throws you completely off track.

Learning the art and science of financial planning helped me to become a better goal setter. We start by talking about a client’s hope and dreams, and then use different tools, such as debt pay-off plans, risk tolerance, and saving and giving goals to move you toward the finish line.

Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (NLT) Now that’s a verse any good planner could stand behind! There are several places in the Bible where we are encouraged to “count the cost” and write down our long-term financial goals.

But, you know what completely changed my approach? Bringing God into my planning. Since recommitting my life to Christ six years ago, my short and long term planning have taken on a new dimension.  I still have goals around eating healthier, saving for the future, growing our business, and becoming an extravagant giver. Here’s the twist: I now spend a lot of time talking over these goals with God – not just annually, but monthly, weekly, and yes, even daily.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.  ~  Proverbs 16:9

My husband, Rick, is great at this.  Twenty years ago he had a vision to “ignite a movement of Biblically Responsible Investing” and his enthusiasm for that has not wavered in all that time. (You can read his Vision Statement here.) God has led him to believe that if Christians fully understood what kind of companies they were investing in, they would want to avoid the companies that go against God’s word, and looking to invest in and grow God-honoring companies. And that if we all did this together, we could really make changes in how American companies do business. Like de-funding Planned Parenthood. Who doesn’t want to get behind that?

This year I encourage you to bring prayer into your planning. And then set some audacious goals, do everything you can to see them through, and be ready to see what God will do!