The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7
My wife and I are big Dave Ramsey fans. If you not familiar with his top-rated, 3 hour-a-day radio program, his 3 NY-Times best selling books on personal finance, his Fox Business Network TV show, or his down-to-earth, biblically based financial advice, you have a couple of things you need to do:
First, get out more often! Second, go to his site, http://www.daveramsey.com, find a local radio station that caries his show and get a copy of his “The Total Money Makeover“.
After facilitating a couple of his Financial Peace University classes in our home, wrestling with budgets and bad spending habits, falling off the wagon and getting back on, we are finally free of the bondage of school loans, credit cards, and car loans. With the exception of our home mortgage, we are debt free!
Depending on your translation, the Bible mentions the word ‘debt’ between fifteen and thirty times. In each case, it speaks of getting out of debt, avoiding debt, or forgiving other’s debts. The only verse that says we should have debt is Romans 13:8
Let no debt
remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. – Romans 13:8 NIV
And I would prefer that kind of debt to the monthly credit card extortion letters, any day!
There is no doubt that debt is a form of bondage and imprisonment. While there aren’t bars on the
windows or guards tapping on your cell door, your are still locked into your current job (especially if you live paycheck-to-paycheck), shackled t
o your current car (especially if it is “upside down” or you own more than it’s
worth) and walled off from the freedom to do with your money what you want to do by the fact that your debtors (or jailers!) are first in line to grab their share when that paycheck gets the bank.
After paying off our VW Beetle, I realized that, not only are we free from the bondage and stress of debt, but I just got $260 a month raise! My boss wasn’t planning to give me a bump like that anytime soon. With each debt we payed off, more and more money became available in the budget to pay off more debt, do more for our family, friends and church, and be less and less concerned that I had to keep up the frenetic pace I had set for myself to keep ahead of the wolves at the door.
If you are looking for some mental, emotional and financial peace (funny how linked they are), consider making the commitment to cash in your “get out of jail free” card and looking for an FPU class in your area.