Debt Free Living
Hello everyone! I was recently interviewed about debt free living and how living without debt relates to my faith. I thought you’d find some of the answers helpful. Here are the first two.
Interviewer: You advocate a debt-free and a primarily cash lifestyle. How is that possible in today’s day and age?
I don’t normally advocate anything. To advocate something means to get caught up in a cause and I never saw Christ get caught up in any cause. I was put on this earth to have a relationship with God. We have to be careful because sometimes it is easier for us to be involved in a cause for Him then in a relationship with Him. So I shy away from causes.
I do however advocate faith in God. Every time I pull out my credit card to borrow money, I think it is a sign that my is faith faltering because I am showing once more that I am not trusting God. The Bible says we aren’t supposed to commit murder — of course we wouldn’t dream of doing that. We aren’t supposed to have other gods — wouldn’t dream of it. We are supposed to trust Him to provide for all our needs … ahhhh well??? Did you respond as quickly on this one as the other two and say, "Of course I trust Him to provide all of my needs and not a credit card"?
Often, by using a credit card, I am giving myself things that God may not be giving me at the moment because I am not mature enough to handle it, it won’t be the best thing for me or because He wants me to learn something or grow stronger by doing without it. Maybe He allowed gas prices to rise to shake some of us up so we would become wiser stewards of our money, knowing that some day when the real hard times come, we will be prepared.
Now that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in using a credit card or having a house payment. It’s just that, like so many other things, we have let them get out of control or we go to extremes in what we use them for. We have got to start using some common sense.
I’ll be honest with you. If you’re in debt and decide now to get out of it, it won’t be easy and, like any other time we have failed to trust God, we may have to live with some consequences. If you are sincere you will be willing to say, "I will pay back what I owe no matter what discomfort I have go through, even if I have to give up everything."
I learned many years ago that God’s best plan for me is not to go into debt with a credit card because I’m overspending.
How is it possible to avoid debt in this day and age? Even to hear those words makes me think of Satan standing and whispering in someone’s ear "You need to use that credit card. In this day and age, it is the only thing you can do. Don’t worry, God (and the people you aren’t going to pay back) will understand."
We are so careful about what our children watch on TV or what they learn in school but we ourselves are so often deceived, letting ourselves fall into negative and faithless thinking. Even asking "how is that possible" implies that God can’t take care of us. Have we let our fear and faithlessness make us forget that, with God, all things are possible, even in this day and age?
Nothing is really any different in this day and age than in any other. Citing "this day and age" is just another excuse we use to justify all the silly, irresponsible and wrong things we do with our money. There has always been unemployment and, at times, even worse than what we have now. The stock market has always gone up and down. That’s why we have always been told to be careful when we invest in it.
As far as housing goes, I remember the real estate market crashing and burning so bad in the 80′s. No one could sell a home. I put my house on the market anyway because I never listened to what the news or "they" said. Within one week, I had 3 contracts and I even did it without an agent. Hmmm. Do you think, maybe, that my God was bigger then the real estate market?
Open your eyes and look for yourself. How packed is every restaurant parking lot each day? The next time you stand in line at the store, look at your own shopping cart and those of others around you. Are they buying just the essentials or are their baskets full of fluff? By looking in the carts you can see just how "not bad" things are right now. Beware of when you’re being deceived.
Interviewer: How has God blessed your website, blog and publishing since you started?
I know the pat answer to this would be to say, since we wrote our book and started our website, the blessings have been pouring in. To be honest I can’t really tell a difference. I think it is because God sees the things I do in my life much differently than others looking on see them. To Him, whether I was sitting up all night comforting a sick child, laying in my bed too sick to move or talk to anyone but Him or I have a "ministry" telling thousands of people how to get out of debt, it is all the same to Him. All He is interested in is whether or not I do it because I love Him and am trying to do what He has asked me to do at that moment. In other words, am I obeying Him?
We have lists of things we do that we consider spiritual like running a large ministry, helping at church or spending hours in Bible study and then there are other "everyday" things we don’t really think of as spiritual like cleaning the house, doing laundry, grocery shopping or going to work. I once heard a speaker say if you are truly spiritual, everything you do is spiritual.
The same thing is true with blessings, so when moving from one thing to the next in my life, if I do those things with faith and obedience, the blessings will come. He doesn’t give me more blessings because I deal with thousands of people instead of just one small child. Even if I am doing nothing more than laying ill and talking to Him alone, he is still blessing me.
We tend to associate what we see as great blessings, including money and success, as proof that a person is in God’s will, doing what is right. When we see what looks like a large "ministry" we expect to see great and mighty things. That, in and of itself, goes against the real definition of a blessing, which is to be spiritually prosperous, have a life of joy and satisfaction in God’s favor — regardless of the outward circumstances. With that as the definition, God has blessed me and my family so much so that I can hardly contain the blessings.
Some of the nicest outward blessings God has given us, though, have been so many of our sweet and encouraging readers who are always there with words of thanks or encouragement at just the right moment. Yes, there are some outward blessings!
Read Part Two: Debt Free Living-God Provides