I am writing this letter because I have been watching and learning from you for a while, but I am still struggling to understand how I can really bring abundance into my life. Last year, after almost 5 years, I finally managed to buy myself a small flat, but despite working really hard and saving every single penny I make to pay the mortgage installments, I have the feeling that I will be losing my house to the bank in 2023.
I was a classroom English teacher but after the pandemic I started working online and am not planning to return to the classrooms as due to moral principles I don’t want to teach kids the woke agenda we teachers are obliged to. So, my situation is a catch 22, as despite having good experience and being a postgrad professional in education, I am unable to return to my traditional career. Even adapting to the current times, working online is definitely not as certain as my previous job, especially considering I am based in Brazil, which disregards education to its core, let alone the importance of learning languages such as English. I also must say that I have indeed been actively looking for different online roles as a way to increase my earnings, though the ones available go against my moral principles which are related to betting or funny businesses. I will keep looking though.
I have registered with yourselves, and would appreciate it if you could please make a video explaining how we can overcome the fear of not deserving or belonging to God’s unlimited wealth.
As a good Catholic myself, I suffer more than feel joy, so it would be much appreciated if you would please kindly share your wisdom with me/us. I have been trying to have more students and also to diversify my income sources, but seriously I am so stuck that I don’t even know how to start as I dread losing my house. Please help me. Thank you and I am sorry for troubling you.
We both feel saddened by your predicament and by the tone of resignation we hear in your letter. We understand you feeling that you have nowhere to turn in order to head off the calamity of losing your home, but being overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness will work against you.
Clearly the first thing you need is a plan, and the second step is to follow that plan. Let’s see if we can help you develop a plan that will not only allow you to keep your head above water and retain your home but will even put you on a new trajectory of financial stability and hope.
One of the important lessons of our 5F, The Holistic You book is the extent to which our Faith impacts our Finances. You made two faith related statements that we feel ought to be addressed before we proceed to specific prescriptions. Please set aside some private time to contemplate these two points seriously.
First, your words indicate that you associate your Catholic faith with suffering rather than joy. We know very little about Catholic theology though we assume that what Catholics call the Old Testament and we call the Tanach remains significant and true. It follows therefore that you urgently need to review the following phrase repeatedly until you can wrap your soul around it.
Here’s the phrase: Because you would not serve the Lord your God in joy and gladness over the abundance of everything…(Deut. 28:47)
The context makes clear that we are expected to be joyous and recognize the blessings that God showers upon us. We feel that the first step in your financial transformation depends upon first embracing joy in your life. Make it a practice, starting now, to find joy in everything. Maybe it’s watching a beautiful sunrise, or watching some children playing. Can you get out of bed in the morning and stand on your feet as well as see and hear? Recognize God as a Giver and be happy. Expecting defeat is one way to ensure defeat. Believing that God is on your side will prepare you for all that lies ahead.
Second, in two separate parts of your letter you mentioned your “moral principles”. Now to be sure, we both applaud anyone who stands firm on their moral principles. However, we must be certain that our moral principles really are moral principles; that they are founded upon God’s eternal values. Please know that we do not question your goodness and your sincerity, but we do question whether, in your difficult situation, you could possibly possess the dispassionate and analytical approach needed to determine the balance between real moral principles and moral sentiments. The former can never be violated while the latter allows considerably more nuance.
Looking first at your second use of ‘moral principles’ where you described online money-making schemes involving betting or other similar vices. We agree with you and are sure that this is not the area for you to explore. However, there are many online opportunities that are not connected to betting or unethical businesses. We recommend looking at this list, which includes both online and offline opportunities for earning money from our dear friend, Dave Ramsey. Here’s a challenge for you: Do not allow yourself to say, “Well, that’s good for [Americans] but it won’t work for me. “Americans” in this case stands for anything that is your excuse for why you can’t follow his suggestions. It is true that some and even many of them may not be possible for you. But you need to have a “yes” mindset, and expand your thinking rather than holding on to your, “I can’t” mindset. Here is another idea. No matter how small your house is, surely you are not the only one feeling financial constraints. Can you (carefully) find a housemate to share expenses?
Your first use of ‘moral principles’ explained your reluctance to return to in-class teaching because of wokeness. Here we have to tell you that you are wrong. Let’s give you an example. Imagine my employer pays me a good wage for digging a hole on one day and filling it in the next day. On the third day he asks me to dig it again and on the fourth day, to fill it in. That employer is in violation of moral principles by asking me to do meaningless work, but I, on the other hand, am free to do the work and get paid in good conscience.
We urge you dear Betina, immediately, without delay, to return to classroom teaching, to a steady income and possibly other benefits as well. You will obviously need to obey the instructions of your employer but at the same time, a classroom allows you the opportunity of becoming a beacon of truth to your students. In addition to helping prepare them for a world of international commerce operating chiefly in English, you will subtly be able to convey to them your principles and be a light in their lives.
Returning to the classroom would help you stabilize your financial situation, keep your home, replenish your savings and put you in a position to start planning for even greater financial growth. When that time comes, we will advise you to start exploring our Financial Prosperity Collection and other resources that will guide you to your next financial goal.
Onwards and upwards,
Rabbi Daniel & Susan Lapin
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this Ask the Rabbi & Susan post.
We Happy Warrior members can both read and write comments HERE.
Not a member yet? Check out our Basic Membership and join the conversation.
New Year = New Goals
Who do you want to be in 2023? Keep growing with Chart Your Course: 52 Weekly Journaling Challenges with Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin. Each week presents a theme, a matching Bible verse and a challenge.
Use the book alone or supplement with the 52 matching motivational videos the Lapins recorded and shared with their Happy Warriors over the past year. Chart Your Course is now available in multiple formats, including as an ebook.
Explore your options here.