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“The crisis, bad decisions and poor financial education left me in debt”

Ignacio Rodriguez, a Spanish real estate professional, recalls how the economic crisis of 2008 helped him to refocus his financial life from a biblical perspective.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 298/Jose_Dalberto_Vargas,5/Evangelical_Focus 17 DE ABRIL DE 2023 13:10 h
Ignacio Rodríguez/Photo: Fb, courtesy of LIDE.

Ignacio Rodríguez has over 20 years of experience in the real estate sector and collaborates with the Spanish evangelical Gospel, Economy and Business group, Tres-e in the area of financial stewardship.

Born in Barcelona and raised in Almería, Ignacio comes from an evangelical family and came to know Jesus as a teenager. In his youth, he studied to become a language teacher specialising in English, but decided to try out the housing market.

“I really like English, but I didn't work as a teacher. I partnered with some friends to set up a digital marketing company and over the years we focused on working for the real estate business. By being involved in this field for so many years, some of us were taken over by a developer with whom we worked and then went into real estate sales”, he told Spanish news website Protestante Digital.

For 5 years he learned part of the business, made a living from it and became self-employed; at the same time he started a family with his wife and two children.

Everything was going “normal” until the bursting of the global real estate bubble, a crisis that also hit Spain, causing the well-known economic depression throughout the country.


In the valley of the shadow

Rodríguez recalls that “it was a very hard valley. In addition to the crisis, I had little knowledge of finance and administration. Bad decisions and little preparation in those areas led me to have no job, no money, no house, and debts that reached 85,000 euros”.

“Once, for example, I went to England believing the promise of support from an investor to work in that market, I rented a flat and a car and even took my family with me to spend the whole summer with them. Just two days after arriving with everything organised, that person told me that he could not continue. I ended up really devastated, it was all very hard”, he adds.

It was a time when he faced depression. “I felt that I was spiritually cold. Thank God I had the support of family and mainly my wife”.

He finally got a job that allowed him to move on. “Since 2009 I was working hard to pay my debts and I achieved that goal in 2014, but that last year I was fired. It affected me, because we didn't have a lot of savings, but I was relieved to know that we didn't have any obligations”.


“Your money counts”

Being debt free, Rodriguez had some months off and “a few days after being fired, I went to Barcelona to attend a course by Peter Briscoe on the book Your Money Counts”.

Briscoe is the founder of Compass Europe, which is part of the Compass International ministry of Howard Dayton, author of that bestseller.

[photo_footer] A moment of the interview.[/photo_footer] 

“If I had found that book 10 years ago, I might not have made so many mistakes in the past, but I understand that God allowed all that for a purpose, He writes straight with crooked lines”, points out Rodriguez.

In addition to receiving training on biblical principles in the financial area, Ignacio was prepared to be a trainer. He also contributed to the Spanish adaptation of the book Your Money Counts and transcribed the English workshops given by Briscoe, which are now very helpful for those who participate in the conferences he organises.

“At the end I understood that my dismissal had a purpose and that was to take time to serve. In fact, last year we published a new book, Financial Discipleship, which is like a second part of Your Money Counts, more focused on trainers”, he said.

Rodriguez believes his greatest learning experience was knowing how God has everything under His control. “Such truth gives me peace in the midst of any situation. Each experience gives me an extra to speak with authority on these issues”.


Practical advice

Rodriguez underlines that the economy is always cyclical and our duty is to be prepared.

“The Bible has around 500 verses about prayer and faith, but over 2,350 verses have to do with money and possessions. The Lord wants us to know His perspective in this area. There will always be good times and bad times” , he stressed.

For Rodriguez it is essential to “trust in God's sovereignty and for that it is necessary to have a close relationship with Him because: He does His part and we do ours”.

We must be responsible for our finances and live with a budget; know where our expenses go and depending on our needs, cut them as much as possible, not with a mentality of poverty, but rather thinking about saving”, he adds.

Rodriguez continues to work for the real estate sector as a freelancer. He recommends to read more Christian literature related to money and work, to manage time well with closed schedules and to be physically active on a daily basis.

“Not just doing sport, it is ideal to go out, get away, meditate and reflect on nature. God always has something to say to you. Our thoughts cannot be focused only on business, in the end, a company is simply a tool that God gives us to bless”.

“Let us remember that everything we do has transcendence in the eternal”, he concludes.

This article was produced for the Líderes Empresariales section of Protestante Digital, an initiative of the Gospel, Economy and Business (Tres-E) group in Spain.





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