walk in the word
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34
There are three kinds of people:
It used to be that if you didn’t have the money to buy something, you didn’t buy it. Today, people think nothing about spending money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to create a misery that they don’t desire. Am I right?
According to The Federal Reserve Report (August 2003), consumer debt stands at a record 1.95 trillion dollars, with more than one third of this, over $700,000,000,000 (billion), involving credit cards. Saddest of all, 56% of all divorces are the result of financial tension in the home. And 42% of Americans are at the absolute limit of indebtedness; not able to take on even another dollar into that dark cloud that hangs over them.
Let me ask you this question. Do you have a problem with debt? Not sure? Look at these symptoms:
Symptoms of slavery to debt
How do we get in debt like this?
Some people are deep in debt because of an unforeseen health crisis or a business failure. Through no fault of their own they have been thrust down a black hole. But more often than not, debt problems come from spending money on non-appreciable assets. That’s not like home ownership that builds equity; it’s stuff like clothes and travel. Just more stuff.
Debt brings devastation to many peoples’ lives.
What does God’s Word have to say about this?
A lot! Here’s a sampling:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
“Better to have one hand full with peace and contentment, than two hands full with strife and agonizing after the wind.”
What we’re talking about here is addiction. You may say, “Isn’t it a bit of an overkill to say that debt is an addiction?” Webster defines addiction this way: “A persistent need for and use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.” If you know that alcohol is destructive to you and you continue to drink it, that’s an addiction. If you know that living in debt takes an incredible toll on you, your health, and your family and you continue to pursue it—that’s an addiction.
Now if I’ve got an addiction of any kind in my life, the way to deal with it is to take action. If you’re addicted to alcohol, how much alcohol should you have in your home? If you’re saying, “It’s OK—cause I can handle it. I’m just going to try harder next time”—then you’re kidding yourself.
Here’s some debt guidelines that we’ve established in our house that have helped us.
Most often we get into debt because we think that stuff can fill a place in our life that only God can fill. “Well maybe if I had this…” “Maybe if I bought this…” “Maybe if I drove this…” “Maybe if I wore this, I’d be happier, I’d feel better about myself, my life would…” All the while God is listening in. “And you think that’s so great? You think that’s going to give you what only I can give you? Do you think that’s going to replace Me?” And of course it doesn’t, and the misery only escalates.
God so wants to be the center of all that we are and do. Proverbs 15:16, says, “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble with it.” As lovingly as I know how, I exhort you to deal with this matter of debt. Listen to the entire message, “Eliminating My Debt” online to get more help from God’s Word. Then, take action, make yourself accountable, step into partnership with God, and get free of this bondage—for the blessing on your family and for the reputation of Christ.
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