The Law of Reciprocity
Lifting a $300,000 Debt Off Their Shoulders
By Amy Reid
The 700 Club
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CBN.com -Cody Clemmons says that in the early 90’s, God gave him an idea for a cartridge display business, but he needed money to get started. His wife Cheri, explains:
“We had a commercial banker give us some financial advice to never use our own money and always use somebody else’s, that way if you lost everything you wouldn’t lose what you had.”
So the Clemmons used credit cards to start their business. Buying things on credit soon became a habit that was hard to break.
“I was spending a lot of money,” says Cody. “But I was not paying off any of my debt.”
“So God gave us the warning, “You have to get out of debt or I can’t use you,”” Cheri recalls.
The couple heeded God’s warning. They downsized their home and sold their new vehicles to get rid of the car payments, but then they took matters into their own hands and made an investment in an expensive magazine ad. The ad came out on September 10, 2001 – one day before the tragic events of 9-11. All their sales came to a halt.
“To this day we have not gotten a single order off of that ad, not a single phone call,” says Cheri.
The Clemmons’ debt now totaled a staggering $300,000. One day, they started reading about the principles of tithing and began giving regularly.
“I wanted to make sure every single time God was paid first before anything else,” says Cheri, “that revolutionized our whole life.”
Cheri believes God then told her to pay off the mortgage on their farm – before their credit cards.
“When I was questioning God about it he said, “No. I want you to pay off your house first,” Cheri recalls. ”We’re not going to do it how man does it because I want to get the glory for your testimony and not man’s wisdom.”
“I disagreed with her; I argued with her,” Cody says.
Cheri didn’t let it bother her. “So I just kinda turned him over to God, and I was like, “God, you deal with him. He’s not listening to me. It’s your problem.” (grinning)
Cody pursued refinancing the house, but all of his attempts fell through. And then one day something changed.
“I have no idea how it happened,” Cody says, “All I know is I woke up and I had this wonderful idea that we’ve got to pay off this house. And it was my idea!” (snorts/laughs)
The Clemmons’ worked hard and paid off their mortgage, but their problems weren’t over. Their customers stopped paying and their income dwindled. Even at their lowest point, Cody and Cheri say that God provided for them.
“That was the beginning of the toughest part,” Cody recalls, “But he gave us the evidence that He was faithful. And He gave us the plan, you know, just be obedient, hang in there, He’ll pull us through that fire.”
Cody and Cheri knew God was faithful, and they continued to tithe and trust.
Then finally, a breakthrough!
“The orders started coming back in,” Cheri remembers. “People started paying on time. People would pay early. It was just wonderful!”
“It only came together when we really understood what his desire was and we got in agreement with Him,” says Cody.
Through the years, Cody and Cheri have continued to give to their church and to CBN.
“When we started sowing into CBN lavishly we started seeing all these new blessings of provision coming into our life,” says Cheri. “So that made a big impression on us.”
Today, their business is going great and they are completely debt-free.
“If you don’t plant a seed, nothing will grow,” says Cheri, “And it doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar or a hundred or a thousand. The size doesn’t matter; it’s your faith in being obedient and stepping out.”
Being obedient to God's truth made an incredible difference for Cody and Cheri. Join them in partnering with CBN. You will make a difference in lives around the world, through medical missions, food and clothing programs, humanitarian outreaches and so much—all in the name of Jesus. Please join today.
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