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Break Free From Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Sue and her husband were barely making ends meet. Stress and arguments ensued. Then one day they heard an offer they couldn’t refuse. See what it was and how it can help your finances. Read Transcript


When you're living paycheck to paycheck essentially--

that's what we were doing, living paycheck to paycheck--

and it is very stressful.

And so you're trying to live your life and enjoy things

but constantly thinking, okay, now if we do this,

I've got pay for that.

NARRATOR: Sue Ellen and Gene Johnson

were like many American families,

living paycheck to paycheck-- very little or no savings,

just looking for a way out.

It's just a constant juggling of your money

to try to make ends meet.

NARRATOR: When the Johnsons married 20 years ago,

Gene's small but steady salary provided

for the couple's needs.

But as their family and living expenses grew,

their income stayed the same.

My husband is not comfortable on camera talking about this,

but he is more than willing for me to talk about it.

Every dollar that we had in our budget was allocated.

And it would worry me to the point

where there would be nights that I wouldn't sleep.

And it feels like a noose around your neck that drags you down.

NARRATOR: Then Gene's company cut out all overtime.

SUE ELLEN JOHNSON: He was not getting cost-of-living raises.

I know what we have to survive off of.

And that's what I thought we were doing-- surviving.

NARRATOR: The unrelenting stress began

to take a toll on the Johnsons' marriage.

Their arguments went something like this.

I'm not working, because I'm home with the children.

I'm taking care of them.

So it's his responsibility to make the money.

And then he feels like, I'm doing the best I can.

I think there's resentment-- you've

got to do better, even though I know he is

doing the best that he could.

NARRATOR: There seemed to be no way out

of the financial struggle-- until one Sunday morning.

The Johnsons' pastor taught about the importance

of tithing and giving.

And then he made an offer too good to refuse.

SUE ELLEN JOHNSON: If you will commit

to tithe 10% of your income-- if, in that time,

you don't see a difference in your income,

then he would refund every dime we've given.

We were looking at each other, thinking, who does that?

He must really have a lot of faith in what he's saying.

Me and my husband were in church together that day.

And he, as you know, looked at me, and I looked at him.

And he's like, what have we got to lose?

NARRATOR: In the past, the couple occasionally gave

to their church and to CBN.

But tithing 10% of their income was challenging,

even with a guaranteed refund.

SUE ELLEN JOHNSON: 10% of your income-- that's a lot of money.

10% is a light bill.

10% is a car payment.

When we started out tithing, we didn't see immediate results.

I had to quit thinking with my mind.

And I had to just believe that God is true to what he says.

NARRATOR: Six months later, Sue Ellen

says that changes were undeniable.

First, Gene's company restored overtime.

Then they sold a piece of land under nearly impossible


And the first thing the Johnsons did with their profit?

We took the money from the sale of the land,

and 10% of that, we tithed that, too.

NARRATOR: Within several years, the Johnsons' income had

doubled through raises and overtime pay.

He just had so much work, almost more than he could do.

NARRATOR: Which enabled them to give even more to their church

and to CBN.

SUE ELLEN JOHNSON: I'm sewing into good ground.

And I knew that the 700 Club was an honest, godly thing

that I wanted to be a part of.

I get to see testimonies of how people's lives are changed.

What a blessing that He chooses me to help other people

and that now I'm able to do that,

because I have the extra money that I

can to help other people.

Tithing changed me totally.

It's not just a financial thing.

It really changed me emotionally, physically.

I enjoy my family, like God would want me to.

We are so much closer.

We don't argue.

It's wonderful.

I want other people to experience what I experienced.

I want them to know that God is true to His word

and that what He says, He will do.


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