Ruled by debt…

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Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:When the Lord your God has blessed you, as he promised you, you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

Observation: Here Moses continues to give guidance and direction to the nation of Israelites who are about to finally enter the Promised Land without him. In this verse Moses makes an interesting and important connection between “lending” and “ruling”.  God’s people will have all they need, so they won’t have to borrow from other nations. To the contrary, they will lend to others – and by so doing, “rule over many nations”.

Application: If there’s one thing we Americans are conditioned to do it’s borrow. Granted, there are circumstances when this is perhaps necessary – the purchase of a home, for example. Few of us save up the full purchase price of a home before buying it, so we take out a mortgage. I get it.

But the truth is we often borrow in order to make purchases of stuff we don’t really need. This is the world of the credit card, and other forms of consumer credit. Limited use of such resources can be just fine. The problem is when we lose control of our spending/borrowing and our debt begins to “rule” over us. It can act like a financial millstone around our necks. If you’ve ever had to dig out of a financial hole related to debt, you know what I mean.

This may not be right for you, but I’ve committed to paying cash (or debit card) for things rather than credit – as a form of spiritual discipline. I realize I am missing out on “points” and other benefits of using credit cards. In this way, one can argue there is a cost of paying cash for things. Noted. But I’ve found the blessing of eliminating debt far exceeds whatever goodies I’m missing out on. But that’s just me. Let’s pray.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, you are good to your people – providing all we need as we trust you with the tithe (10%) of our income. Give us grace to avoid being ruled by debt. Amen.

 

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