This world is backwards. Everyone loves to talk about using OPM (other people’s money) to purchase things or to gain wealth. I just don’t get it. Mathematically I understand the advantages of leveraging debt, but math cannot be used to understand every situation. As emotional creatures we were not designed to function as walking calculators making every decision based solely on the numbers.
While math plays a role in our financial lives, there are far more powerful truths, like discipline for example. The thing is that most of us know mathematically what we should do with our finances, yet because of a lack of discipline we don’t do it. So, what then needs fixing – the math or the discipline?
Another truth that really clarified to me why I needed to get out of debt is because the Bible says, “the borrower is slave to the lender.” Anyone who has been in deep debt can attest to the truth of this. Essentially, when you dig yourself in debt you give up control of your life. With each new debt you give more control to your lender and slowly become more of a slave.
You don’t have to be in debt
I always thought that debt was just a way of life. I accepted the fact that I would always have a car payment. Everyone has credit cards, so I just assumed if everyone was doing it, it was okay.
Then something changed. I decided that rather than always having a car payment, I wanted to never take out a loan on a car again. Sure, in the short term I might not be able to drive the car of my dreams, but what I found was that the little sacrifice has been and will continue to yield tremendous fruit.
Think about it – most of the companies advertising have some form of credit or financing they are offering. So, everything we hear from them is going to try to convince us that being in debt is normal, fun, and what the “cool kids are doing.”
It may be normal, but there is something so much better available to us.
One of my greatest motivators for becoming debt-free has been the freedom. I just can not wait until I have every debt paid off and actually OWN my home. Paying bills will be so fun!
I just sit and smile when I think about the freedom of not living paycheck to paycheck. I used to live in fear knowing that if I was out of work for more than a week, I would be in big trouble financially. Personally, I don’t believe that God set us free in so many other areas, so that we could stay slaves in the area of debt.
Others are affected
As I have been on the journey to get out of debt I discovered that the reason for it is a lot larger than my freedom. While that has been a great motivator for me, I am now getting excited about the increased opportunity to give. Most everyone has experienced the joy of giving. The challenge is that we often want to give, but have all these other necessary expenses that have to be taken out first. If you are like most, it seems like there is never quite as much to give as you would like.
This is exactly why we need to get out from our debt. How can we expect to be big givers if we owe money to everyone else and don’t have anything ourselves?
Personally, I am not satisfied with how much I am currently giving. I have a feeling that I am not alone in this. I believe that a lot of the church has been limited in their ability to give because of debt. I believe that God is wanting something more from us. I believe that He is wanting us to become good stewards of our finances so that we will be able to better honor Him and others with our checkbooks.
This was a reprint of an article I wrote for MinTheGap…