How to Get Out Of Debt
(Part 1 of 7)

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God didn’t create us so that we could seek our own satisfaction.
I believe that God put each person down here for a reason and that reason is to bless others. In doing so, we will be blessed.

I have found in my own life that my most joyful moments often revolved around me helping or doing something to benefit another person.  Meanwhile, my most painful, sorrowful, and sad moments were taking place when I was thinking about myself. Often times one of the quickest remedies to a struggle that we are having is to get our minds off ourselves and go do something for someone else.

So what does this have to do with getting out of debt? A whole lot actually. Your motivation for wanting to get out of debt should go beyond yourself. Sure, it will be awesome when you get to break out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and when you can buy that car with cash, but that is just part of it. God wants to use you to financially bless others! This is a very good thing because:

  1. Giving is one of the most fun and self-fulfilling activities you can be a part of.
  2. You are storing up treasure in Heaven for eternity, rather than down here for a few more years (Matthew 6:20).
  3. Giving is a great way to burn selfishness out of your life.
  4. When you give, it will be given back to you in abundance (Luke 6:38)!

You must have something to give!

If you are like most Christians I have met, you want to be able to give more. You have a good heart and wish you could give more. You really want to be able to bless people and give more to your church. But again, if you are like most that I have met, you are thinking, “it is hard enough just to pay the bills each month, let alone give to others the way I would like to.”

This is exactly why you need to get out of debt!

Imagine how much easier it would be to give if you didn’t have any credit card payments, or car payments, or even (dare I say it) a mortgage payment—this has been my motivation over the last few years! This is where you and I are headed!

It is not actually our money

Our money is really not our own. We are merely stewards of what we have been given by God (read the Parable of the Talents for a refresher.) Even if you insist on saying that you worked hard to earn it, who gave you your brain, the hands you used, and even the air you put in your lungs?

We came into the world with nothing, we will leave with nothing. It is all God’s (Psalm 89:11). We have the priveledge of being stewards. When we are slack or wasteful with our money, it is not our money we are wasting, but Gods. It is not only ourselves that we hinder but others as well.

Yes the thought of being out of debt is fun to think about, but the main purpose for our getting out of debt is to benefit the Kingdom of God.

God didn’t set this thing up so that we just sit back as spectators, and it also isn’t just about what we can do with our strength. We have a part to play and so does God. The Bible says that we are co-laborers with Him (1 Corinthians 3:9). We need to be giving to fund and finance the Kingdom of God – how much more effective are we going to be if we are out of debt?

Psalm 67:7

“God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”

In the Getting out of Debt series, there are going to be 6 more articles that will walk you through what you need to do to get out of debt. These are the things I am actually doing myself and found them to be the most helpful. Let me warn you upfront, working to be debt free is NOT easy. It requires sacrifices. It requires a fight. But anything in life that is worth having is going to require a fight. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!! Don’t grow weary in well doing!!

The other 6 Steps to getting out of debt

31 Comments
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  1. This is really great and I’m looking forward to this series tremendously. It’s so easy to just get focused on getting out of debt for personal reasons. But giving is wonderful! I’m so thankful that I’m able to tithe at my church. It is definitely rewarding knowing that I’m contributing to God’s work.

    • Its breath taking now to realize that giving is one of the greatest steps to luring away debt in our lives as christians and and as human beings,these even challenges us to give more not only for us but for the Kingdom of God

  2. @James
    You are right – I really believe that our most fulfilling and joyful times in life will be when we are giving!!

  3. What a great way to start this series: with giving!

  4. I believe that the purpose for which we were created was to bless God and glorify Him, not first and foremost to bless others. Blessing others is certainly one way that we bless God, and we are commanded to do so in the Bible. I believe we should always be God-centered, not man-centered. But certainly your conclusions are right on. Great post, I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

  5. Bob…thanks for this…thanks for sharing your heart’s passion to keep Christ as the center as we are His stewards of all things! I look forward to this series and moving toward getting out from under th things of this world in order to live more freely through Christ!

  6. @Luke
    thanks for pointing that out- I am in complete agreement with you – although after reading what I wrote it could have given another impression.

    Ultimately, my goal with my life and this series is to show how giving is such an important part of our lives. We have the priveledge to finance God’s kingdom and to bless the lives of others – God could do it all Himself if he wanted, but out of His great love He lets us work as co-laborers with Him!

  7. Paul Williams

    Bob,

    This is a great piece here. Your message is something a lot of Christians need to hear, and you do a great job with it. Keep up the good work. I look forward to the rest of this series!

    @Luke:

    I would say blessing others is the main way we bless God. Look at all the examples Jesus gave us – the majority of them had to do with how we treat others. There’s a personal side to our relationship with God, but our love for God is often expressed in our love for other people. But I do agree with your main point – that we are here for God and all we have and do should be used to glorify Him.

  8. Very well said. Giving is so important and something we intend on talking more about.

  9. Just a quick note to congratulate you and for this fine article. The article was included in the September edition of the ‘Blog Carnival of Christian Family Information Exchange’. To view the Carnival visit:
    http://olinepublishing.blogspot.com/2008/09/september-edition-of-blog-carnival-of.html

    Please consider writing an article each month and submit it to us at blog carnival! Thanks and God bless!

    Theresa Twogood

  10. Mike Spradley

    I have been a member of Christian PF for some time now and I love everything about it.
    I think this site teaches us to Love one another the way a Christian should love.

    Thank you for letting me be a part of this…

  11. @Mike,
    thanks for the kind words – I really appreciate it! I am glad you are here!

  12. What a great post. The more I read on this site the more I like it. Simple, straightforward advice and it works.

  13. thanks God for this site..amen I luv it..and i know it can help me..

  14. Brad Conner

    Bob,

    Wow! That was a quick response! Thanks.

    I just went back to your website. This could fall into the “I am blind.” department, but I cannot seem to find the “PRINT” button you mentioned in your email.

    Brad

    PS do you have a direct email address that I could use in Outlook instead of going through the website?

  15. I agree, when we sit down to help people do a written budget and start with “Giving”, they think we are crazy. However, once the thinking changes and the speaking changes and the actions change, wow!
    The giving proves Him. I am enjoying the similar teaching methods, makes me know we are on the right track. Have a blessed day.

  16. Sikhist American

    God bless the USA.

  17. I thank You for this site . I was starting to get down on myself. I became ill two years ago ,and lost my job ,my unemployment benefits ran out in July. My house is set to be foreclosed on November 13,2009. I have been a faithful thither and giver . I just realized that even if I lose everything I have worked so hard for I still have God . I may not be able to give finacially but I can still tell people to be encouraged no matter what trials you go through it could be to help someone else in need. We were put here to glorify God so please eveyone do not let your circumstances dictate who and why we are here. Thank You

  18. Elizabeth

    Dear Bob,
    I was browsing tonight, unsure of what I was looking for, but knew that I needed help with my finances, and your site just popped up. (Divine intervention, or what!) I have seen all the work from home and make a milliion dollars sites and don’t believe a single one of them, and just assumed your site would be the same, but I am glad to tell you that I am happily mistaken. Thanks so much for being a good steward of your talent and sharing this info with us. I will be checking in daily to see what’s new and will start making a budget asap, now that I have learned that it’s not my money, it belongs to God and I had better start acting accordingly! Thanks so much.
    Elizabeth

  19. Sidney Saxon

    I have recently went through the Dave Ramsey DVD couses to get out of debt and I have to say that it the best tool anyone can have to financail freedom. Even if you don’t get rich it’s still the best way to have that freedom that everybody wants. The freedom to eat out every once in a while without dipping into our bill money or savings account etc. This web site has been a great help to me , it allows me to go back and refresh my memory with what I learned from the Ramsey course. It’s a must now a days with the economy the way it is, not just a smart thing to do to get rich.

  20. First off, anyone who likes chocolate is OK in my book! That said, this is one of the most helpful websites I’ve ever run across. I haven’t had a chance to study it in great detail, but I am looking forward to checking out every little bit. Bless you for all the hard work you’ve put into it.

  21. It’s true, sometimes in our darkest hours of life, others that are surrounding us shine and light up our worlds! Churches specifically do a great deal to help those in need and I’m glad my church has such a big heart when it comes to those who need the extra help to get back on the right track!

  22. Love your point that we will be more effective the more we are able to give! Such a simple concept, but many people are so busy dealing with life and all the stresses that come with it that they stop to think about this. Thank you for your great insights, I know my readers will appreciate this!

  23. Excellent article. It’s important to rebalance exactly where our money comes from. I think that part of getting out of debt is about reassessing our attitude towards money

  24. To be honset giving is a great blessing, but it doesn’t guarentee provision. You should give and not count the cost.

    However, I think for many if not most people their debts are not a result of frivolity or greed but a result of hardship and misfortune. So one may give from the little of the back up fund you have saved so far not just out of a kind heart but fully convinced of a particular burden/prompting from God for a particular situation. Then some hardship befalls you (and they are never simple they always have practical and emotional tenticals into many areas of your life) for which not to go into debt to solve would be seen as beligerant to a fault to your wife and family.

    So, you go into debt and you have broken the plan. However, does one hold the back up pot and the spread sheet with such legalistic vigour that one would probably never hear God prompting you to give. I don’t think this is God’s way.

    Additionally I think if both partners are called to investment bankers they will have an easier job congratulating themselves on their good stewardship. Where as if both partners are called to be care assistants and have a large family it would not be very unlikely that they would always be chasing the paycheck and be in debt of one sort or another and if not then they would be being very very strict and every member of the family would be very cooperative and no hardships would befall them.

  25. One additional thought is this.

    I think it is very very hard to separate ourselves from the culture and age in which we live. I some parts of the world, in some cultures or in some past ages people have no choice. Now however in the west society is generally prosperous and there is a very string expectation that people will fit in with the culture and take advantage of the general prosperity to tow the line even if that means occasionally going into debt. Unless fortunate and prosperous, if one decided to blatently refuse to go into debt ever ever ever one would find ones self ostracised from society and may fall into greater hardshop as a result. I think one has to live in a societal context. Eg David and many others went around killing people as part of God’s plan, he lived in a particular age and society that we don’t live in now.

    To be clear I am not talking about debt out of greed and frivolity, I am talking about continuing to behave within the context of ones society and culture which essentially operates with this credit basis expectation.

    If

  26. Thank you for this article! I felt convicted about my extravagant and debt-inducing lifestyle and googled “Christian ways to get out of debt,” and came upon your website. God bless you!

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