God did not create us to live in constant debt.
John 10:10 -“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
I must testify to the goodness of God in my life. Although I have lived my adult life far below the poverty line, I live free of crushing debt. I travelled across Asia, the U.S., Canada and as far as the northern tip of South America, in God’s service and without incurring debt. I have never been without food on my table, a warm coat on my back, or a bed in which to sleep. My furniture is not the fanciest, and my closet isn’t full of designer clothes. Although my cell phone serves me well, it is not the latest must-have gadget. My television is several years old, and my laptop doesn’t have all the latest bells and whistles.
I racked up credit card debt in my early twenties, but I quickly paid that off through wise counsel and learned a wise lesson. Since then, I have determined to be enslaved only to Jesus Christ as His willing bondservant. I chose never to be a willing slave to financial debt. God has been faithful!
Proverbs 22:7b – “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
Paying interest is abhorrent to me. I must confess that emergencies forced me to be in debt once or twice, but I quickly paid those debts off.
If you were to ask me the secret behind my ability to stay out of long-term debt, I would sum it up in three words: gratitude, generosity, and contentment. I am content with what I have. If I am tempted to impulse buy, I find it wise to ask myself a simple question. “What am I seeking comfort from, and how can I go to God with that need?” Do I always follow that sage advice? Not always, but I try. I am always content when I seek God as my comfort source.
I love to give to others, deliberately setting money aside to bless and pouting when I cannot give! Nothing brings me more joy than to see the face of someone who God has used me to bless. It truly is the thought that counts and not the price tag attached to a gift.
Case in point, when my mother celebrated her 90th birthday, I bought her a squishy soft teddy bear. It was the hit of her birthday celebration. Seeing my 90-year-old mother and my 84-year-old aunt playfully fight over that bear was a joy to behold. I couldn’t afford a more expensive gift for her special day, but it hit her heart, which is what mattered.
I am grateful for God’s blessings in my life, and I am not envious of His blessings in the lives of my friends. I don’t look upon the wealth of a friend as a sign that God loves them more than me, nor do I judge them because of their wealth. Most of the perks they enjoy are the well-deserved fruit of hard work, sound financial decisions, and generous attitudes.
God created us to live in freedom and not to live in bondage to debt!
Romans 13:8 – “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another.”
I am faithful in tithing to my local church and regularly give to other ministries. My motivation is always to bless God and His people first. Through my discipline of giving, God can bless me in return.
Excellent Christian websites, books, and teaching series will give you sound financial advice on cutting your debt load. Dave Ramsey and Stephen DeSilva are just a couple of trusted financial advisors with internet resources. I am sure there are many others out there.
If you are in debt, don’t live in secret shame. Seek prayer from those you trust and actively seek financial mentors. Ask the Lord to draw you toward those who show godly character in their interactions. Choose those who live their lives from the foundation of integrity and wisdom. These brothers and sisters in Christ likely prosper in their finances because of their wise decisions.
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are taken from the NASB 1995 Version.