Sermon Illustrations


Nearly - 80 percent of all divorced couples between the ages of 20 and 30 list financial difficulties as the primary cause of their separation and divorce.

From the following statistics paint the picture of America’s improper handling of their finances:

The latest statistics from the Federal Reserve indicate that the total amount of consumer debt outstanding remained fairly steady in 2007. In case you’re wondering the total amount of consumer debt in the United States stands at nearly $2.6 trillion dollars - and based on the latest Census statistics, that works out to be nearly $8,500 in debt for every man, woman and child that lives here in the US.

And if you’re saying to yourself - that that statistic doesn’t seem quite so bad - just keep this in mind: We’re talking about consumer credit - which does not include debt secured by real estate. So if you’re thinking that number has mortgage values in it, it doesn’t.

Consumer Credit Breakdown: So just how does that debt breakdown in terms of credit cards and /or the purchase of a new automobile? Well, roughly 37% of all consumer debt - as of June 2008 - of this type is what is termed revolving credit, which is defined as credit which is repeatedly available as periodic repayments are made. The most common type of revolving credit would be credit card debt. The other 63% of that debt is derived from loans that are not revolving in nature. This type of debt would include automobile loans, student loans, and loans on boats, trailers or even vacations. In fact, these statistics also tell us that the average new car loan is over $25,000 and the loan to value ratio is 93%. That means new car buyers are using down payments of around 7% of the car’s purchase price.

Credit Card Debt: According to information gathered by the US Census bureau, there were approximately 164 million credit card holders in the United States in 2005 and that number is projected to grow to 176 million Americans by 2010. These same Americans own approximately 1.4 billion cards - an average of nearly nine credit cards issued per credit card holder.

In addition, Americans charged approximately $2,052 billion dollars to their credit cards in 2005 - that’s just over $12,400 in charges per cardholder. This information includes all credit card types including bank cards, phone cars, as well as credit cards issued by oil companies and retail store.

This data also tells us that Americans carried approximately $832 billion in credit card debt and that number is expected to grow to a projected $1,091 billion by the year 2010. This works out to over $5,000 in credit card debt per cardholder (not household) and that number is expected to increase to nearly $6,200 by 2010.

In the past ten years, credit card balances have increased a staggering 163 percent. Even some of the most dedicated Christians are facing the difficulty of overextended credit and bankruptcy. In 2008 there were 1,095,344 personal bankruptcies in the US. Most people like you and me. The nation’s debt is climbing. Prices are climbing, and suicide rates are climbing.

(From a sermon by Michael McCartney, Preach This: The difference between tithes and offering? 11/30/2009)

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