The bondage of debt…

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Proverbs 13: 7 Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.

Here’s another gem from the book of Proverbs this morning. This one verse could be viewed as a description of many people in our modern consumer culture.

Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing…

These are people who live beyond their means. They appear to enjoy a fairly high standard of living, but it’s mostly purchased on credit. Credit allows us to possess things we can’t pay for up front, so we borrow the money and have what we want – right now. While there’s nothing wrong with the modest use of credit, things can get out of hand. And when they do get out of hand – it isn’t pretty. The house of cards can come crashing down quickly.

…others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.

These are people who, despite being able to “afford” a higher standard of living, choose to live more modestly. Rather than spend all they have, they save. And give. Our local newspaper carried the story of a recently deceased school janitor who amassed an estate worth millions of dollars over the course of his lifetime – by living modestly and saving consistently over many years.

If I’m honest, I’ve lived on both sides of this equation. There is great temptation to live a highly leveraged life, which I have done. Who doesn’t want to enjoy nice things – now – rather than later? But living this way can bring anxiety about the future. Why? Because one unforseen setback in income can bring the whole thing down. Quickly. Living paycheck to paycheck is no way to live.

These days my family and I are more in the second category. We’re certainly not rich, but we intentionally live more modestly than we might otherwise. We pay for things as we go rather than borrow money, though it means having to wait. We live on considerably less than we make, which allows us to give a healthy % of our income for the sake of others. And though we’re not there yet, within the next two years we will be completely debt free. THAT makes us weird in today’s world, but in this case I want to be weird. It’s way better than the alternative.

Many of you know very well what I’m writing about. You’ve figured this stuff out long ago and are nodding in agreement as you read. Good on you! Maybe it didn’t take you nearly as long as it did me to get your financial bearings.

And others of you know what I’m writing about – because you’re living the stress of the highly leveraged life. If that’s you, I want to recommend the course “Financial Peace University” created by a man named Dave Ramsey. Look it up online.

Many churches host these nine-week courses designed to help people get out of debt and relate with money in a more life-giving way. We are planning to hold one at the church I lead in suburban Dallas this coming fall. If you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I’d love for you to join us. It’s an incredible thing to get free from the bondage of debt.

Heavenly Father, the words of wisdom in the book of Proverbs is truly incredible. Our verse for today speaks especially to many of us. Give us grace to live within our means, allowing our financial lives to be a blessing and not a curse. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

One thought on “The bondage of debt…

  1. Gray Sullivan

    I read this daily but found today to be interesting.. This is the course I was talking about..I will pay for you and Jen if you go..This I promise you You will be happier if youfigure some of this out..Lov ya,ll

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