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 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 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.