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Treasure Digest: IOU Can Spell Bondage

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Treasure Digest

IOU Can Spell Bondage

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Growing up I learned that debt can be a long, long road to financial discomfort and personal anguish. I heartily recommend that you avoid that road! Debt can take away much of the exuberance and joy of life as well as rob you of opportunities.

I have spoken to many young people about the debts they have incurred in getting an education, buying an automobile or going on vacation. They pay and pay and pay. It breaks my heart sometimes when I see the chains that they have willingly put on through mismanagement and overspending.

Bond servants were people who received the bare necessities of life from their employer, while the employer made all the profit from their work for a period of time. I find little difference in that condition and the one so many people slide into when their debts and the interest on their debts sap any income except for the bare necessities of life.

God has plenty to say about handling our finances. Romans 13:8 Romans 13:8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.
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states that we should owe no man anything, but to love one another. That extends beyond money, but we will focus on money for this article. Nehemiah 5:1-7 Nehemiah 5:1-7 [1] And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews. [2] For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. [3] Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. [4] There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that on our lands and vineyards. [5] Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children: and, see, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought to bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. [6] And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. [7] Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said to them, You exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
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spells out the lament of people who had mortgaged their land and taken loans to live—and were being drowned in usury or interest.

It amazes me to see that credit cards charge in the vicinity of 20 percent interest per year and still people use them to the max.

The Bible makes many statements about charging interest (usury) and about freeing people from their debts (such as the year of release, Deuteronomy 15:9 Deuteronomy 15:9Beware that there be not a thought in your wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing; and he cry to the LORD against you, and it be sin to you.
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). But handling one's income in a responsible manner is the key to financial success.

Paul seems to have learned a vital lesson of life. He writes in Philippians 4:11 Philippians 4:11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
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, 1 Timothy 6:8 1 Timothy 6:8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
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and Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
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that we should learn to be content with what we have.

A great lesson in financing is to only buy things within your budget and save the money needed so you can make a full payment and have no interest to pay. That allows you to take advantage of sales and bargains that save further dollars. Today, there are those in the finance and sales industries who are highly trained in removing extra dollars from your pocket.

In our local newspaper of Dec. 28, 2003, a large article was written about the credit card crisis in Korea. That problem is not unique to Korea, but we can learn a lesson or two. The article stated that in 1997 the government encouraged the use of credit cards to stimulate the economy. Credit cards were handed out to almost anyone. According to the article, each man, woman and child in Korea has a credit card debt of about $11,000! Other countries are not far behind.

Those who ensnare and trap the unsuspecting into a life of credit card bondage ought to be stopped.

Credit is not a right; it is a privilege that belongs to those who can show responsibility. All of us ought to be concerned about breaking the chains that hold so many. Education in financial management and accepting personal responsibility are the keys. God wants to set you free. He has opened the doors, but you have to walk through them. Life can be beautiful outside of the prison of debt.

For more information, read our free booklet, Managing Your Finances (www.ucg.org/booklets).

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