Most Christians are aware that being in debt is troublesome. Perhaps they’ve experienced the onerous late fees, over-the-limit fees, and interest charges that seem to boost their debt balance to new heights. For some, the thought of ever being debt-free is a seemingly unattainable pipe dream. Others have grown comfortable with the debt they carry and feel fine managing the minimum, monthly payments.
But, beyond our justifying the use of credit cards and tolerating their fees, interest, and payments; there lies a deeper desire to be rid of it all. We battle conflicting thoughts… “Is it even possible?” or “Why try?” We can often limit ourselves through our thoughts. The Bible reminds us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Proverbs 23:7. Christians who consistently view themselves as sinners can continue to struggle with sin just by repeatedly calling attention to their past failures. Those who view themselves as having a credit card problem, continue in the same destructive behavior.
I submit that the first step in solving the problem of debt is to change our hearts on the matter. Our actions flow from our thinking and our thinking stems from our personal beliefs. Many of our beliefs are deeply rooted through years of repetition, never questioning the long-term repercussions of our actions. Some beliefs have even been adopted from those who influenced our lives during our developing years and early adulthood. That doesn’t excuse bad behavior. We are still responsible for our own actions. However, pausing to identify our own personal beliefs regarding debt can be a starting point to recovery.
Thoughtfully complete the following statement:
“I only use a credit card _____________.”
Your answer can be very revealing. Common responses are: “…when I really need to.”, “… when I don’t have the cash.”, “…when it’s an emergency.” The problem with those common responses is that they demonstrate the card-holder’s pattern of not having discipline to save money for purchases or emergencies. They are accustomed to constantly experiencing needs and emergencies, thus justifying the misuse of their credit cards. This cycle will never end without a change of personal beliefs towards credit cards and saving.
By replacing our destructive beliefs about credit with healthy beliefs, we can begin the gratifying journey of becoming debt-free.
We should replace the beliefs of:
“I use my credit card when I don’t have the cash for my purchase.”
“I will save up for that purchase.”
“I use my credit card for emergencies.”
“I will save money monthly to be prepared for emergencies.”
“I can handle the payments.”
“I will avoid indebtedness.”
“I can manage the debt.”
“I desire to be free from debt.”
“God doesn’t care how I use my credit cards.”
“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7