Dear friend, if you've gone into hock with your neighbor or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger, If you've impulsively promised the shirt off your back and now find yourself shivering out in the cold, Friend, don't waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess. You're in that man's clutches! Go, put on a long face; act desperate. Don't procrastinate-- there's no time to lose. Run like a deer from the hunter, fly like a bird from the trapper! (Proverbs 6:1-5 MSG)
If this wasn't written so clearly about in the bible I would be hesitant to write about it. The topic of money is something that is written about extensively in the scriptures and debt/credit specifically is addressed in this scripture as well as others. Credit and debt continues to devastate families all over the world.
My first real exposure to borrowing money came when I was in the Army. The day after payday and seemingly every day after until the next payday was filled with guys asking for a few bucks to get them by until payday. I never could understand it then and still have difficulty understanding it now why people can't live within their means.
I think that most people (at least the ones above the poverty line) do not have a problem of income but of outgo ... they do not restrain their spending - they buy things that they cannot afford. Why do you think that this is so? Here are a few reasons:
- Hedonism: We live in a society demonstrative of the Nike Just Do It! motto. Unfortunately most of us just can't do what it is that we want to do and have difficulty making the hard choices of denying ourselves the things that make us feel so good but are so bad for us. Shopping, eating, drugging and gambling addictions are often hedonistic in nature.
- Materialism: A bit like hedonism this one is a little different because the lust involved is not so much carnal as it is visual - we see something and we just have to have it. To that end we buy a new car instead of an older one. Our love of things enslaves us and takes over our finances.
- Humanism: At the root of many of our problems is the idea that we are the center of the universe and money and resources belong to us. This is contrasted by stewardship - the idea that these are things that we are given to be used at His leading and for His purposes. Many religious people relegate ten percent of their resources to God but feel free to use the remaining ninety percent any way they choose.
Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world--wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important--has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out--but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. (1 John 2:15-17 MSG)I adjure you my friends to heed the scripture in this area. Don't fall in love with things. Live within your means. Don't fall into the enemies trap and go into debt over cars, electronics and the many other lusts of life. Do all you can do to get yourselves free from the bondage of debt and keep yourselves free.