July 23 – $ – Debt

Read Proverbs 22:7

Americans are swimming in debt. No… maybe drowning is more accurate. And, if you wanted to switch metaphors, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to say we are enslaved to debt. Need proof? Here you go:

  • A May 2021 report from Debt.org revealed that the total U.S. consumer debt balance grew $800 billion in 2020 – an increase of 6% over 2019, the highest annual growth jump in over a decade.
  • The average American has $90,460 in debt, which includes all types of consumer debt, from credit cards to personal loans, mortgages and student debt.
  • And before you dismiss it all to mortgages, we are seeing consistent growth also in auto, student loan and credit card debt.
  • The average household carries 1.8 times more debt than income.

Think about it. Most Americans are not getting ahead financially because they’re paying someone else rather than themselves. The banks and lending institutions are happy to keep building beautiful, glass high rises with your money, while you struggle to keep up with home repairs.

Earlier in the Proverbs, we are reminded to “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.” – Proverbs 3:9

While we’re paying a bank or other lending institution, we are struggling to honor God with our money. Rather than generously contributing to the cause of Christ, paying our bills, accruing savings for emergencies and planned expenses, and investing in retirement, our money is flying out of our bank accounts to pay debt on the magic carpets of electronic payments and automatic deductions.

And then we wonder why money is so tight.

God’s principles for financial stewardship work. And when we follow them, we honor Him. And until we follow them, we won’t have financial peace.

When we are a slave to debt or are stressed about finances, it affects our focus on our devotion to Jesus. We can become distracted about money.

Jesus talked about this.  He said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matthew 6:24

Indebtedness makes us slaves to another master.

It’s time to get some peace. I encourage you to register for our next Financial Peace University class in the fall of 2021 (keep an eye out on this page for updates: https://woostergrace.org/events/). No matter how well or how poorly you think you are handling your personal finances, there will be something you can learn to not merely gain peace with your finances, but enhance your generosity, as well.

David Lawson

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