The Strategy to Stay out of Debt
The experience of struggling to re-aligning their finances, attacking their debt, and making sacrifices for a period time in order to achieve their goal of being debt-free is enough motivation to never get in debt again for many people.
However, we are required to be pro-active and have a strategy with something as important and Christ-honoring as staying debt-free. Temptations will not simply go away. They will often present themselves and we need a strong defense to avoid reverting to our old ways.
1. Recognize Debt for what it truly is—bondage.
Realize that any activities that we partake in repeatedly over time that go against what we know to be right can become acceptable to us. We repeat it easily as we give ourselves permission to go back to it.
God warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.“ Galatians 6:7-8
Stay mindful to what God’s Word calls indebtedness–bondage (Pro. 22:7). There is simply nothing good about bondage. It cannot be painted as a pleasant picture. With God’s help, we must rid ourselves of bondage and purpose to never return.
2. Rid your life of the provision of debt.
“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Proverb 27:12
While it is nearly impossible to hide yourself from commercials, retail stores, and online shopping services; you can eliminate the potential to use credit by closing your accounts. Call the credit card company and request that they close your card. This will require strong resolve and a commitment to honor the Lord. Your flesh will scream, “But I may need my credit card in the future!” Realize that all Scripture written about borrowing and debt is written as warnings–not in favor of debt. As a faithful steward of God’s financial resources, you do not need debt.
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14
3. Pursue faithful stewardship
In Luke chapter 16, verses 1 through 9, Jesus teaches the parable of a steward that had not been faithful in his stewardship. His lord confronts him with his unfaithfulness and declares that his stewardship will be taken away. That steward quickly chooses to be wise with what he still has stewardship over. His intent is to benefit his lord’s estate and gain favor in the eyes of his lord’s associates.
We have all failed in varying degrees in our stewardship over all that God has entrusted us with. His Word teaches us that there will also be a time when all that we have been given will be taken away and we will give an account of our own stewardship (2 Cor. 5:10). Only what was done for Christ will remain forever. Those things done for ourselves will perish.
God is merciful and long suffering. He is the God of second chances. Every day until His return, we have the opportunity to be faithful with what we have now and to make use of our financial resources to further the kingdom of God, rather than for our own pleasure.