Living in debt has become a way of life for many people. In doing this, we have become slaves. Proverbs 22:7 clearly says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”cxxxvi Many people today have been fooled by complex marketing strategies created by today’s mega corporations. We have been fooled into thinking that debt is an acceptable way of life. We have been taught that the way to success and prosperity is through the use of loans or credit cards. In fact, many of the advertisements of today make you believe that you are somehow more important or sophisticated if you have their credit card or loan. It doesn’t have to be this way.
It was in the early to mid-20th century when a group of people got together and realized that they could sell a bunch of stuff that people don’t need to people who don’t need it. They further discovered that if they did this successfully, then they would be able to buy a bunch of stuff that they didn’t need. After doing this for a while, they discovered that the people who couldn’t afford stuff were admiring them. This made them feel important. Being ego driven creatures, they decided to figure out a way to sell more useless stuff to people who didn’t need it so that they could buy more STUFF for themselves. This cycle is repeated endlessly. Welcome to “success” as it stands today. However, this wasn’t always the case.
People used to work and save for the things they wanted. Yes, it took patience, discipline and time but the things they had were much more valued.
Try missing a payment on one of those loans and see how important and sophisticated you feel. “If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.”cxxxvii It’s funny, but it’s true. When you sign that loan paperwork for the new car or finance anything else, you are giving up a portion of your life, a part of your freedom.
If you read the Bible, there is not one time where God uses debt to bless anyone. When debt is discussed, it is always a burden that drives you into slavery. Always remember, “Debt is the slavery of the free.”cxxxviii
Here is what you can do now and, in the future, to free yourself from this slavery and move forward. When you eliminate the burden of debt from your life, you will begin to feel the freedom in your life grow minute by minute. I have compiled a list of suggestions, which will help you eliminate this terrible burden now and forever.
Live on cash. It’s quite simple. If you don’t have cash to pay for it, don’t buy it. It’s called living within your means and it’s important. Benjamin Franklin even went so far as to say, “…rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.”cxxxix
Pay more on your credit cards, car loans or other debt than you actually owe. This will help you pay down your debt much sooner than you would otherwise be able to do. You must be disciplined. You may have spent years creating your debt. “Debt is like any other trap; easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.”cxl
Create a budget and stick to it. There are plenty of online resources geared to this purpose. Some of them have a monthly or annual fee involved and some of them do not. Find one that works for you and use it. “Live within your means; never be in debt, and by husbanding your money you can always lay it out well. But when you get in debt you become a slave. Therefore, I say to you, never involve yourself in debt, and become no man’s surety.”cxli
Create an emergency fund. Unexpected expenses such as car repairs, broken washing machines or any other unplanned expense make debt accumulate quickly. These things are unavoidable, but you can make sure they don’t destroy your financial plan by making sure you have cash on hand for these unplanned expenses.
Finally, be patient. You will overcome the debt you have created in your life, but it may take some time. If you don’t get discouraged, you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As you follow these new rules to managing your debt, you will begin to free yourself from the chains of past mistakes and as you free up more and more of your money from the burden of debt, you will see the benefits of being debt free. You will never again want to go back to that horrible place. You will put yourself in a position where, “…God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow…”cxlii
Michael at R2W
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