By Felix A. Montelara
Author & Host – The Potential Millionaire
Last week’s episode was a special one, as we prepared to celebrate Christmas Day. I hope that all my listeners and readers had a wonderful Christmas with their families. In the last episode, I discussed the real reason to celebrate at Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus. I also talked about the origin of the Christmas tradition of gift giving, which probably started in the fourth century with the generosity of Saint Nicholas. I also talked about carefully choosing gifts- to find gifts that are truly meaningful, to give at Christmas. Remember, as we think about these things, we must always keep in mind that God and family are the most important things in our lives. I encouraged you to take time with your families to start new Christmas traditions- to get away from the ‘normal’ commercialized spending spree that Christmas has become, and to focus on meaningful, lasting gifts. Sometimes these gifts are hand-made, or sometimes they are acts of love, or giving of one’s time to another. Imagine the good that spending 30 extra minutes playing with your kids each day could do in their lives- what a lasting effect that would have- far outlasting the brief joy that a toy or game would bring. Its hard to have the courage to try these new ideas- just like its hard to make and keep a budget, or hard to save for an emergency when we have expenses today. But friends, whoever said that doing the right thing, would be easy?
This week marks another important Christian holiday. The twelve days after Christmas are a time called Christmastide. Christmastide ends with the Epiphany, which many call Three Kings Day. Epiphany is a Greek word that means ‘to show, or to reveal’. The Epiphany was first celebrated in the fourth century, and originally was a celebration of four important events: the baptism of Jesus, the first miracle of Jesus, (which was changing water to wine at the wedding at Cana), the Nativity of Christ, and the visitation of the three wise men. These four events were celebrated together, because they were each a time when Jesus was revealed to the world. Over time, the events began to be celebrated separately, and now we think of the Epiphany as a remembrance of the long journey of the three Magi, as they followed the star to Bethlehem and worshipped Jesus. In many cultures, gifts are given on the Epiphany, to commemorate the gifts that the three wise men brought to Jesus.
As we continue to celebrate Christmas and look forward to the Epiphany, let’s remember that this is a time when we should focus on what we need to show others or reveal in our lives. In terms of your personal finances, this would be a great time to discuss where you are at with your family, so that you can begin the New Year together with a plan to improve your situation. It may be a difficult conversation, but revealing the truth will in the end allow you and your family to make progress. It is also a time to be honest with yourself, to show yourself that you have the courage to take control of your financial situation. Reveal to yourself how you are spending your money, find your weaknesses, and be determined to get control of your finances. Create a budget, stop wasting money, begin a savings account, and pay off your debts. These are steps that I can help you with, with this radio program, my book, and my website potencialmillonario.com. Let yourself have a personal finance epiphany- and begin your journey to financial freedom. Allow this season of joy and celebration encourages you to have the courage to do the tough things- knowing that they are the right things to do. Let the promise of financial freedom, the relief of having no more debt, the security of having savings, the freedom of having your own money to spend- let these things be your guiding star that lights your way throughout the New Year. Friends, just like the journey of the Three Kings was difficult, your journey may be difficult as well. But the Three Kings persisted, they carried on, and they accomplished their mission of revealing baby Jesus to the world. And they didn’t do this alone- they had the guidance of the Christmas star sent by God. You too, have guidance, and you too, have God. I hope you will take this opportunity to set off on a journey to reveal your millionaire potential.