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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why It's Important To Live Debt Free

If you were to ask me why my wife and I are penny pinching, why we believe in a good budget, or why it's important to us, I could quickly rattle off a few reasons.

  • I like stuff, and by saving money now I'll be able to buy more stuff later

  • I want a Mustang someday and getting out of debt will help me get that

  • I like making my wife happy. Happy wife, happy life, right?

  • I like not being independent and not obligated to credit card companies

Notice that each one of those points starts with "I." They're all very selfish, I admit it. It's like Dave Ramsey says in his Financial Peace University, "Live now like nobody else so that tomorrow you can live like nobody else." Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning selfishness, and the list above is meant to be taken in jest, but my point is: there are many good personal reasons for penny pinching.

But there's a deeper reason, and a far more important one. God doesn't like debt. Romans 13:8 advises believers to owe nothing to anyone except love. At the same time, however, the Bible does not explicitly command against all forms of debt, nor does it expressly forbid or condone the borrowing of money. Essentially, the Bible offers a strong warning when it comes to borrowing money, saying that debt makes the borrower a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

Slavery. That's not something God likes either. He sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, to earth to die in order to get us out of slavery to sin. The problem with slavery is that it holds us back. It pins us down. A bird that's tethered to a cage can't fly. For this reason there's a lot of Christian ministries and organizations that won't hire other Christians to work for them if they have a lot of debt. When you're tethered to a bank loan or a credit lending agency, you're held back from serving God to the fullest. I'm not saying you can't serve Him at all or do mighty works for His Kingdom, but just imagine the heights you could soar if you weren't tied down to a monthly house payment or student loans.

The Bible says that the plans of those who are diligent with their money lead to wealth (Proverbs 21:5), and that those who are faithful with what they earn will abound with blessings (Proverbs 28:20).

Paying off debt is about more than just financial freedom. It's about spiritual freedom. And I believe we should make it our priority as Christians to get out of debt as soon as possible so we can experience all that God has for us.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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