Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 2.17.16 – Getting Out of Debt


Let all the caveats apply here. I don’t think one system fits all believers. I know situations and mistakes compile, compound, and complicate. But I want to ask the question from not only a practical standpoint, but a biblical one as well.

That question is this: do you have a plan to get out of debt?

My wife and I, nearing seventeen years of marriage and bearing pain from stupid mistakes for years, have arrived at a point where our home is the final debt remaining on our ledger. Let me summarize a few key principles:

1. A spiritual conviction.

The Bible describes the debtor as slave to the lender. Anyone who’s had financial debt feels this every time a payment comes due. We have desired to eliminate our debt in large part due to the spiritual benefits on the other side of debt.

The spiritual benefit of eliminating debt proves much larger than peace of mind or having the freedom to do what you want. Simply put, we want furthering God’s kingdom to rank at the top of the list of the priorities. We wanted to make as much resource available for those investments we value most.

2. Saving is a defense against debt.

Saving money makes you your own credit card. Saving is a commitment to expect the unexpected. Things in your life or business will  break down. The brakes will go bad. The computer will crash. Owning things requires the commitment to keep them functional without having to take on debt to fix them.

To achieve any measure of financial health you simply can’t spend everything you make.

3. Discipline.

Getting stronger financially might present one of the greatest challenges anyone could take on. The amount of unknown in the process sets it apart from trying to increase physical health where you have much more control. I know many people just like us who show growth and make progress, only to have another calamity come calling for the cash represented by that growth.

A part of discipline also meant continued, consistent giving. I’m sure the temptation would slyly tell you to quit giving so you could eliminate the debt faster. Biblically, we value the rhythm of regular worship and see giving as a part of that.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is patience, and self control (among others, of course).

4. God’s grace.

Absent God’s grace, “arrogant lecture” would make for a nice label on this post. We sin. We need forgiveness. We need more hunger for God’s ways. We need God’s blessing. Absent our sin and failures in earlier years of marriage, we might have made it to this point much quicker. We praise God for grace and hope to continue to lean on grace more than the money we save not paying interest.

Think. Do you really value getting out of debt? Even if it took ten years?

Act. Pray. Then begin building a framework for what it would like like to eliminate your debt. Involve a trusted believer or professional if necessary. Rely on God in the process!

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