Summary: Most people will agree in principle that the one who gives is more blessed than the one who receives. But they still struggle with giving – often because they can’t give. They have too many bills and are struggling to get by.
Last Sunday I began a series of messages called “Satisfied.” that is about money – except it’s not really about money. It’s about life.
In that message I pointed out three lies that sounded like truths and three truths that sounded like lies.
The three lies were that
It doesn’t. There is never enough.
It’s my money
It’s not. It’s God’s. He just lets you possess it for a while.
Money is the proof of success
It’s isn’t. Money is the not the proof. Money is the test.
I also shared three truths. Here they are:
God is the source for all good things
It all comes from him. He is the creator of all things.
God determines what you have
God has given us each the skills, talents and abilities we possess – all of which produces the wealth in our world and in our life. Ultimately, how that all works out is determined by God. How we handle what we have is the test of life.
God made us to Give which is the only way to a satisfied life
Spending, saving, hoarding, gambling, begging, borrowing, or working for money does not lead to a satisfied life. The ONLY way money leads to a satisfied life is when we honor God by following his example and give to another.
So problem solved – right! Wrong! Most people will agree in principle that the one who gives is more blessed than the one who receives. But they still struggle with giving – often because they can’t give. They have too many bills and are struggling to get by. There is no margin in their life. In fact, they spend more than they make.
Debt keeps you stuck in the trap of using your future to pay for your past.
Credit and Interest is a way of life in the modern world. One of the most important numbers you have today that is attached to your name is your credit score. It affects what you pay in interest on your car loan and on your home mortgage. It is factored into how much you pay for auto and home insurance. A low credit score can mean interest rates on your credit card of 20-15%. A high score can mean an interest rate of only 12%.
Debt is a way of life in our world. But today I want to show you what God’s word says about debt? I did a little digging in the past couple of months and here is some of what I discovered in the Bible.
#1: Some Debt is OK
1 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the LORD’s release has been proclaimed.
Certainly, one thing we do learn immediately is that it’s not wrong or evil to have debt. Being in debt is not a sin! In fact, there are times when it may be necessary or even wise.
When Donna and I first married we were students at Great Lakes Bible College living on a very limited income. This was over 42 years ago so the prices were a lot different but the principle would be the same at today’s prices.
Back in the olden days we budgeted $7.00 a week for groceries. We could fill the gas tank on our car for $3.00. Our laundry expenses were the killer – around $4-5.00 weekly. That’s what it cost to go to the laundry mat and put quarters and dimes into the machines. It also meant blowing about 2-3 hours watching clothes go around in a big dryer. I hated it and so did Donna.
So we went to Sears in Frandor and borrowed $235 to buy a portable washing machine and a drying rack. The monthly payment was $14. That meant we actually lowered our monthly laundry bill by roughly $6.00 and I didn’t have to sit in a laundry mat anymore.
There are times that a little debt makes some sense. The problem with debt comes when it gets out of control and it costs you more – not less.
The second thing we learn is that debt is so dangerous that God put in place a formal bankruptcy every seven years for everyone who was in debt.
In the Old Testament God limited debt to no more than seven years. Actually, what the law said was that every seven years there was to be a financial Sabbath and all debt was to be released. All land that was mortgaged was to be returned to the original owner.