There is a certain freedom experienced when you choose to live debt-free. It seems like when I talk to people about being debt-free, a very common response I get sounds something like the following: “Well, I’m not debt-free, but I’m good with money.” This common response calls me to dig a little deeper so I inquire a little harder and ask, “What do you mean, by ‘you are good with money’?” And in response, I hear, “I mean, I can pay my bills”. Debt is so common in our society we don’t think anything of it; as long as we can pay the bills. Unfortunately, that has become the new hallmark of financial fitness. This is a popular ideology adopted in our culture today, and if it is not corrected, it will have generational consequences. But before we dive into that, let’s see what the bible says about debt.
Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” It is interesting that the Bible uses such strong language when the writer chose to use the word “slave”. I don’t want to be a slave to anybody or anything! Thanks to Jesus Christ, by the way of Calvary and the 13th Amendment, I am not a slave to anything or anybody (if I choose not to be). However, when we choose to “put something on credit”, or finance a purchase, and yes, even take “same as cash” offers, we chose bondage. We make ourselves servants or, to stick with the strength of the biblical language, we choose slavery. Why would you choose bondage?
Poor choices, unabated, grow into poor behaviors which are perpetuated to the next generation. That is how generational curses get started. I know some people might not believe in generational curses, but they do exist. Everybody knows of a group of people or a family that seems to struggle with a vice whether it’s poverty, alcoholism, or gambling; and that same vice is present in multiple generations. Are they cursed? Are some of the hurdles they face the result of poor decisions being repeated generation after generation? If this is the case, they are choosing to be cursed; they are cursing themselves. Some curses can be broken simply by making better life choices.
And so it is with money choices. If you choose debt, (i.e. credit cards, finance charges, etc.) you are choosing to live under a curse; the curse of being obligated to man.
Being debt free means I am choosing to possess the freedom available to me. I am choosing to go against “the normal” practices and “conventional” ways of handling money. I am choosing to prioritize my financial obligations over my wants. I am choosing my fiscal responsibilities over my exaggerated desires. I am choosing to save money to make purchases, although it may take longer, instead of settling for the quick option of credit. I am choosing to sacrifice now, so I can win this money game later. I am choosing a little pain for my later gain. I am choosing to handle my finances biblically and be a good steward. I am choosing to be obedient to the order of God to owe no man but to love him (Rom. 13:8). I am choosing liberty over slavery.