The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7 NIV
Proverbs 22 equates a person who incurs debt to being a slave! That sounds a bit extreme, doesn’t it? After all, to be a slave is to lose one’s freedom, and taking out a loan is hardly taking away your freedom, right?
But a big part of what makes freedom freedom is having the ability to make choices. While a little debt might not hinder your ability to make choices, debt has a surprising ability to grow beyond what we intended. Interest on debt has a nasty way of compounding! Before you know it, debt has indeed limited your choices.
For example, let’s say you decide to take out a mortgage to buy that big house that you’re not sure you can afford. If you get that promotion that you have worked so hard for, you should be able to manage the payments. It will require a new level of commitment to the job, but your family deserves a nice house, right? Now, when your son asks you to take off work a little early so you can go to his ballgame, you aren’t able to because work just won’t let up. You have unintentionally limited your choices.
But let’s say you opt for the smaller home without the marble countertops and three car garage; the one you can afford without needing the big pay raise or increased work commitment. Now your options have just opened up a bit.
Now, how about you set a goal to pay off your existing mortgage rather than upgrade? It will take some time and you may have to cut back on those dinners out. That vacation to Europe will have to wait awhile. But once you’ve paid it off, you truly have some choices. You can decide to leave the stress of your current job to pursue what you truly love. Maybe you’ve always wanted to open a bakery or work part time and volunteer at your church. Being debt free provides that level of freedom.
Maybe it’s too late. Maybe your credit card spending has gotten out of control. Maybe you have already made that big house or luxury SUV purchase and you’re feeling buyer’s remorse. Don’t give up. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Then start a practical debt reduction plan. Finally, find someone who will keep you accountable in sticking with your plan. Let me know if I can pray for you.
Have a question or comment? Contact me. Thanks for reading and God bless you.
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