Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When the Creditor is Coming

Today we welcome Diana's client Sharon Elliot back as guest blogger. Sharon uses her writing gift to encourage her blog readers through God's word daily in addition to the many other hats she wears. In today's economy and challenges to all of us, Diana felt there was much to be gained from her advice.

1 Kings 4:1-7 relates a story that is very timely for many of us in the current economic recession our country is facing. A single mom finds herself in credit trouble. She articulates her problem to Elisha the prophet who asks her what she has. All she has is some oil in a jar. Elisha tells her, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors – empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones…

(When she returned to Elisha with the task completed, he told her) Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest” II Kings 4:3-4 and 7 (NKJ).

If you find yourself in a similar situation today – in bondage to credit – take the six steps this woman took to become free:

  • Step 1: Express your need to God – Now is not the time to stop going to church, to stop praying, and to stop serving God. This woman expressed her need to the man of God. She didn’t turn to ungodly sources or get-rich-quick schemes. She needed help; she turned to God. You need help; turn to God.
  • Step 2: Examine your assets – This woman had a little oil – something that everyone needed. What do you have that everyone needs? Maybe it’s not something physical like oil; perhaps you have strengths, talents, and skills. For example, I can write, teach the Bible, and multi-task.
  • Step 3: Employ the family – This woman had two sons who she rallied to her aid. They helped to collect the empty pots from the neighbors. Get others involved with you gathering all you’ll need to position yourself to exit your credit problem. Put their strengths and skills to work for you.
  • Step 4: Evaluate the emptiness of others – How can your assets fulfill the needs around you? This woman and her sons found people who had empty vessels, people who needed oil. Look around: who needs what you have, even if you have just a little of it? I could, for example, appraise who might need to learn to write, understand the Bible, or be better at organizational skills?
  • Step 5: Exercise the entrepreneurial spirit – Go into business using your assets to fill others’ needs. This woman poured her oil into the empty pots until there were no more empty vessels. Her oil didn’t run out until the empty pots ran out. And her oil was worth money. Your assets, gifts, and talents are not to be cheaply prostituted. Set a fair price and don’t apologize. People will pay for what they want and need. As long as the need exists, you’ll be in business.
  • Step 6: Exist on the increase – This woman sold her oil and she and her sons lived on the rest. She had not only enough to get out of debt, but she also had enough to sustain her family going forward. Her assets profited enough for investment for the future. Wisely handle the increase from now on to keep the creditor from coming back again.

What a wonderful plan to undertake when the creditor is coming. Try it.


©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at

Thanks Sharon, for sharing a post from your blog. I encourage our reader to go to Sharon's blog today as well. It takes us a step further and reminded me of who I am journeying with.




Jeanette Levellie said...

What a timely and wise message, Sharon. Can you share how you've put this into practice? I'd love some tips on finding needs in the marketplace and filling them with my unique talents.

Thank you,

Kelly Freestone said...

Great post!
Thanks so much, Sharon.
My husband and I just went through Financial Peace University with our church family. This has allowed us to see where our money goes, and where it SHOULD be going.

What I've learned (with my sister-in-law in the organizing business) is that we don't need most of what we have.
We've blessed many people with our "excess"(not much, but it's what we didn't need).
I'm so excited about this post, I know it's going to help a lot of people.

Thanks again!

Karen said...


Very timely word, my friend. This is a really good reminder for this season.

Thank you for using what you have to bless others.

Sharon Ewell Foster said...


This is one of my promise scriptures! In fact, it's the passage that got me writing. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to speak to all of us--I'm taking it as a personal reiteration of his promise to me! Bless you, my sister.

By the way, love your name!

Sharon Elliott said...

I've put this lesson into practice by starting a ministry. Life That Matters Ministries pours all my "oil" - Bible study, teaching, writing, speaking - out for the benefit of others. LTMM exists to assist God's people in finding their Kingdom purpose so they can live significantly for God. Feel free to check the ministry website at to see exactly how my "oil" is being poured out in service to others.

Raquel Byrnes said...

What an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your gift of teaching the Bible.

Kelly Freestone said...

That's great, girl!
God bless that ministry :D

Connie Cameron said...

Thanks Sharon (and Diana!) for the timely reminder that we need to thing of others who are in need. I was considering having a garage sale but have decided to stop saving my used stuff to make a few bucks and instead will donate it to benefit others in these hurting times.

Bless you both!