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Getting Out of Debt

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Have you ever asked yourself what you would do with a million dollars?  I have played that game many times over the years.  Would you like to play along?  What would you do if someone gave you a million dollars?

There was a time when I answered this question by stating that I would buy a bigger home and fill it with beautiful things.  I would take my children on a shopping spree and let them buy whatever they wanted.  I would buy my parents a new home and give them a life of luxury.  Do you see a pattern here?  I would buy…

I have a new understanding of that game today

There was a time when a credit card was my best friend.  It would go shopping with me, take me to lunch, and provide me with everything I might need or want.  I would pay it off later, or so I thought.  In time I began to see how dangerous that type of thinking could be to my family and our future.  It was a pattern of thought and behavior that had to be stopped.

Luke 16:10 Luke 16:10He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
American King James Version×
New International Version, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

While you may not think of yourself as being dishonest when it comes to the family finances, the principle is the same.  It has become a common practice to live a lifestyle that is provided by credit.  A family making $30,000 a year may live the lifestyle afforded to those that would earn $40,000.  Those bringing in a salary of $90,000 may use credit to live as if they were earning $120,000.  With the patterns and habit already set in motion it is not difficult to see that if given a million dollars, the money would soon be gone and most people would find themselves in debt again.

Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is not easy.  It means learning to tell ourselves and our families, “No”.  We have to begin to understand why we make certain decisions and how we can better handle our finances, serving our families and providing for them without overextending ourselves.  It also means teaching our children to understand what it means to be free of debt.  Learning how to be truly grateful for the blessings that God has given us and teaching our children by example, is one of the first steps to living within our means.

Having debt hanging over our heads can feel overwhelming at times.  People often refer to it as a mountain of debt.

Matthew 17:20 Matthew 17:20And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.
American King James Version×
shares some encouraging thoughts.  With faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains.  What a wonderful blessing that is.  Mountains come in many shapes and sizes, if debt is your mountain it might be time to begin the process of moving it out of your life.

Over the next few weeks I will discuss ways in which you and your family can make changes that will help you along the way to a debt free life.  While it is not an easy process and it will take longer for some than for others, it is never too early to begin.

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    Comments

  • suewilliams

    My husband and I began to take a better look at our finances and have found a program call YNAB very helpful. You can find it with a google search. You get the first 30days trial for free and there are many free online videos put out by the company that help you learn about budgeting. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget. Also the Dave Ramsey book, “Total Money Make Over” is very good… His baby step program is great. Step one is build an emergeny fund. Step two is payoff credit cards using debt snowball. I believe there are seven steps. (Isn’t it funny how those seven keep comming up in life)..anyway..
    If you decide to use the YNAB program then you should know that about half way through the 30day free trial they offer you a discount of $20 if you will go ahead and buy.. or at least they did for us.
    Getting out of debt is a good idea…those that get out of debt are going to be better off as we face what is comming.. We should pray that our fellow church members are able to get out of debt..

  • Sherrie G

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Sue. My husband and I began working through some of Dave Ramsey’s program in an effort to get control of our debt. We have been able to come out on the other side of it.

    I would caution anyone when choosing a debt program to make sure it will work for your family, stands up against God’s word, and does not create further complications with your finances. Although we used Dave Ramsey for his concepts and ideas when it came to finances, there were a few things that we did not agree with. Any debt program must be adjusted to fit the needs of the individuals and family involved.

  • suewilliams

    Thanks Sherrie..You are of course totally right.. The decisions of life must be made by a mind that has (to use a computer analogy) downloaded the Bible. God’s law is the roadmap to true happyness. It is my prayer that my mind would be changed to be more like God’s with everyday.

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