Another year has gone by and now is the time when some of us decide what changes we are going to make in our lives. It was a record year for retail sales during the Christmas season. One would wonder what impact that will have on the financial security of some people next year. Whatever the effect of spending on gifts this year, it has to be a private decision on how we will manage.
It is sad to say that the Christmas season is a time when most of us overindulge in finances and in eating, and it is too bad that this seems to take place at the end of the year. We have to begin the New Year with promises to be more disciplined. Consequently, people go on more diets and spend the entire year paying down on credit card debt.
Because we are so accustomed to shopping with credit cards, this is a habit which most of us will find hard to break. It is this dependence which has prevented the majority of consumers to neglect to learn the principles of managing money, especially the Biblical principles. Believe it or not, it is possible to live without using credit cards, as God did not intend us to use them.
God intended us to budget our money and not to live above our means, because the debt becomes unmanageable. Not only that, we become a slave to the creditors. Psalm 37:21 clearly explains this: “The wicked borroweth and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy and giveth.” We have to be very careful about not managing our debt as the next verse says, “For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off,” (Psalm 37:22). We will find ourselves being cut off from the blessings of God.
A person who is blessed of God is a “lender and not a borrower,” (Deuteronomy 28:12) “the head and not the tail, and thou shalt be above only and not be beneath.” We come into this blessed state when we hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, (Deuteronomy 28:13.) It is clear from these verses that God did not intend us to be users of credit cards. If we continue in the destructive behavior, then we are not being wise nor prudent. Proverbs 22:3 says, “A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on and are punished.” If we do not make an effort to correct this behavior, we have to suffer the consequences of higher debt because of the interest we have to pay in addition to the principle which we borrowed. Unfortunately, some people will file for bankruptcy.
Before the debt becomes unmanageable, we can make every effort to pay the monthly payments on time and even pay more than what is required so that we can reduce the amount of interest we are paying and repay the debt early. As we are paying the debt, we should be engaged in prayer to the Lord for his guidance in paying off the debt and tithe, as the Lord may surprise is with forgiving the debt. “With God, all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26).