Friday, January 3, 2020

Believing in the Face of Debt

Do you have debt?

I think we all do.  For me, my biggest debt is my home and one credit card.

While owning a home (or, if you don't own a home - your rent or monthly dwelling expense) is common and normal for most of us, as a single Mom and sole breadwinner, a credit card is my other vice and biggest debt hurdle.

All of us have some form of credit card and housing debt.  These debts can be big or they can be smaller.  They can come from excess and lavish living or simply from trying to just make ends meet each month.

As a child, I grew up in a home with two very polar opposite Parents.  One liked to stay home with the children and animals.  One liked to cook and garden.  The other Parent liked to keep up with the Jones.  This Parent maxed out multiple credit cards, left the other parent often in tears, and filed for bankruptcy multiple times.

My brother and I learned through their stories how not to live.  It was a good lesson but one that was difficult to witness and live through.

We each grew up and traveled down the paths life gave us.  Today, we live in modest homes with mortgages and credit card debt.  Not lavish and huge amounts of credit card debt, but still slaves to debt at some level.

Do you struggle with debt?  Do you struggle with that rule that lingers out there that we must have an emergency fund in a savings account that can sustain us for at least six months if an emergency were to arise? 

I mean, how are we to save up an emergency fund or even create a budget if we are striving to pay the mortgage and rent, our credit card(s), and basic living expenses each month?  Debt is a killer and a thief.

It keeps us up at night.  It raises our anxiety levels.  It sneaks into our thoughts and makes us wonder, "What will I end up like without a home, a car, or (insert here whatever your fear is)?"

Like you, I am struggling.  We work multiple jobs, while maybe keeping an eye out for a larger-salaried position; we scrimp and save.  We clip coupons.  We turn off all the lights when we leave a room.  We do what we can.  But debt is still knocking at the front door.

How do you mange your finances?  Are you a Larry Burkett follower?  Are you a Ron Blue follower?  Dave Ramsey?

I'm interested to hear your story and how you make ends meet.  Maybe your story can help someone else.  Leave us a message or a comment or a tip below.

We would love to pray for you and hear your story.

Today, I found this Devotional on YouVersion.  It's called, "Debt:  A Biblical Exploration."  I'd love to have you journey it with me (it's only five days long).  Let's look at Day 1, which struck such a cord with me, that I came over here to talk to YOU...
Debt can cause so many problems both financially and spiritually. 
When too much debt is attained it is as if we become trapped, drowning in our finances. Our worries over our debt quickly consume our lives and our thoughts.
We become servants to debt, and debt becomes our master. Debt can cause us to have tunnel vision, living life consumed by our financial worries instead putting God first in our lives. We can quickly forget about God and those around us who we care and love.
Dallas Willard describes the spiritual bondage we encounter when we get in too much debt. "In our current world, a large part of the freedom that comes from frugality is freedom from the spiritual bondage caused by financial debt. This kind of debt is often incurred by buying things that are far from necessary, and its effect, when the amount is substantial, is to diminish our sense of worth, dim our hope for the future, and eliminate our sensitivity to the needs of others."
Such great words of wisdom.  My goal for 2020 is to claim my mortgage to be paid off.  Yep, you read that right.  Will it happen?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I'm claiming it - I want to be free of this ONE burden. 

Not for myself, but so that myself and my finances will be free to help others. I want my time, my finances, and myself open to where God will lead me in 2020 and I do not want to be burdened with a dwelling payment.

I am excited for 2020. It is a year of growth and of action.  Where will you let God lead you this year?  Look at your debt, pray over it, and ask God to remove it from you.

Lay your fears at his feet.  He WILL be faithful to alleviate your fears.  Be open to what He has planned for you!

Romans 13:8, "Let NO debt remain outstanding, except the CONTINUING debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law."

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