Written by Jim Loscheider* (Elder) on February 17, 2023.
As we celebrate being debt free as a church (listen to the Sunday, January 22 announcement), here’s some encouragement to folks who might still have debt hanging over their head.
Having been involved in Stewardship Studies, Christian Fundraising, the Generosity Movement, for several decades now, I’m still amazed at how our materialistic culture influences us more than the Bible.
No Longer Slaves to Sin
A recent article I read posed this question: “We were slaves to sin, but Jesus came to set us free. If He wanted to set us free in one area, why would He want us to be slaves in another?”
Given our materialistic culture, we can even spend more than we have. If you saw the Superbowl ad done by Temu, the message was quite astonishing! “Spend like you’re a billionaire” was the message. Really? That doesn’t even make common sense. However, the lure is that you can.
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The Get Out of Debt Principle
Years ago, my friend Ron Blue told me (and this is in all of his books) that the key to financial freedom is to “spend less than you make.” Even the government needs to heed this principle.
However, there are times when debt gets us. Whether you’ve acquired debt through circumstances beyond your control like an unexpected illness, accidents, or through your own mistakes, I believe God would love to see His children living debt-free lives.
As a church, we are now able to live debt free and we truly give God the glory for that. We are stewards or managers of the money and resources that He has entrusted to us, and yet, we all have a free will as well. We get to choose to give, save, or spend however we like, or we can follow the Lord’s principles outlined in Scripture.
The good news is that God will work on our behalf to help get us out of debt, but we have a part to play, and it takes discipline. In a sense, it doesn’t matter how much God provides – if we spend more money than we have, we will always be in debt.
I’m grateful that our leaders at Alliance Bible Fellowship made it a goal to become debt-free many years ago. There has also been an increase in generosity at Alliance that is extraordinary. So, what’s the lesson?
Getting Out of Debt is Not a One-Time Decision
I wish getting out of debt, losing weight, and exercising were one-time decisions, but they are not. They need to be decided over and over again and to be successful takes discipline. Every time you feel tempted to buy something you don’t need, or eat a dozen Oreos, or just feel like sitting on the couch, you have a decision to make. Are you going to do what you should do, or what you FEEL like doing?
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You probably know what most of us do most of the time – what we FEEL like doing. That’s why we need God’s help. Set your goals, then put your trust in Him. Your faith, mixed with action, will make all the difference.
If you’re in debt, and want to get out, spend a moment praying for God’s help:
God, I know You can do all things, and that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I want to get out of debt, but I need Your help. Lead me by Your wisdom as I begin this journey. Help me change my habits and my mindset. Work through me and others so I can eliminate all of my debt. Lead me to a place where I can be in a position to give more to others to further your work and impact on the world.
For Your glory and in Jesus’ Name,
Financial Peace University
A practical way to get a handle on being a better steward/manager to the Glory of God is to strongly consider registering for the upcoming Financial Peace University Class being offered at Alliance starting March 23, 2023.
We have a number of discounted registrations (8) of them. They will provide full one year access to the online resources, an FPU workbook, and Premium access to EveryDollar (a practical spending plan that works) for three months. Folks who want this discount, please email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) BEFORE you register so I can provide you with the activation codes that contain the discount. Folks who need a scholarship can do the same thing.
Wise Financial Resources is a new ministry launched at Alliance Bible Fellowship that provides curated resources from various trusted Christian authorities/experts at our church.
*Parts of this article were adapted from an article from “Money Scriptures every Christian should know” – SeedTime