Many of us believe the lie that debt is normal. School loans. Car payments.
But it's not.
Proverbs 22:7 says "the borrow is slave to the lender." If I clear 1, 686 dollars a paycheck but have to pay 800 or more to either Bank of America or Discover, I'm not in control over that money, the credit card companies are.
So, that's 800 a check (1,600 a month) that I have no say over. It's money I can't give to organizations like A21, a non-profit fighting human trafficking. It's money I can't use to go on a mission trip or give to a missionary spreading the gospel to unreached people groups. It's money I can't use to buy books to give to kids who don't have books at home.
And that sobering thought is why I'm up at 2:30 in the morning writing this blog.
Debt is unacceptable because it keeps me at the mercy of credit card companies--how much interest will they charge and what will my minimum payment due be? Debt keeps me tied to earthly things when my heart wants to invest in spiritual things.
And so I'm left with sorrow, great sorrow at what my sin has cost me--the chance to give lavishly to the kingdom of God. But the beautiful thing about Christ's grace is that it is always there, whether it's the first time I've sinned or the hundredth.
So it's not too late for me. Or you. When I look at my debt numbers (read about it here and here), it makes me sad to think of what I could be using that money for. It also makes me mad I was selfish and greedy. It breaks my heart that I let sin guide my choices.
"For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." -2 Corinthians 7:10
So I lie here broken but thankful. Because godly grief over my sin changes me, it produces a repentance that refuses to live in sin any more. And that is incredibly freeing.
But to be financially free, we have to take action. First, we can take a long, honest look at our debt and what our selfish choices have cost us--not just financially but emotionally and spiritually as well. And then we can let that grief and anger change us for the better. Because I don't know about you, but once I climb out of this hole, I'm never going back again.