January 16, 2005
Financial Wisdom: Dealing with Debt
If you have ever tried to pay off a high credit card balance, you know how entrapping debt can be. It seems no matter how much you pay, the "amount due" column shrinks very slowly.
When this is the case, we learn quickly why the Bible discourages debt. Debt hinders us from enjoying resources God has given us.
Not all debt is avoidable, and some extended payment plans are necessary. Paying a house note is a good example of debt that we incur that usually requires a length of time to repay. The real point of the scriptural injunction against debt is financial responsibility. As a believer, you should make wise spending choices based on actual (rather than perceived) need. Obligations to creditors should be kept to a minimum. And when debts are incurred, they should be paid on time.
If you feel a twinge of anxiety when you read this, you may feel as though you have overextended yourself financially. However, God does not want you to waste time feeling guilty about it. He is a God of forgiveness and new beginnings in all things.
Ask Him to take control of your finances and to help you plan for your future. Not all financial planning has to do with debt reduction. The exciting part comes when you are debt-free and able to give openly to the Lord's work.
On Jan. 2, 2005, Dr. Stanley begins a ten-week series entitled "Landmines in the Pathway of the Believer" that identifies and helps you disarm the spiritual landmines in your life. For more information, including television listings and airtimes, visit www.landminesofthebeliever.com.
For more about this topic and many more, be sure to visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/index_76118.html