If you are in debt and you are a Christian then like it or not you are trying to serve two masters. You can’t serve both God and Money. That’s why Paul called greed idolatry – because when you’re chasing after happiness through the things money can buy, then you’re depending on something else to provide for you. You’re worshipping an idol. According to cardhub.com, “Consumers ended 2014 with a $57.1 billion net gain in credit-card debt. That means the average American household owes $7,100 in credit card debt.”
And that idol has to be replaced with the good news that God will never leave us or forsake us. The lie that things will make you happy needs to be drowned out with the knowledge that only a life centered upon God and filled with the power His Spirit provides will truly be a fulfilled life.
Put these five steps into action. Create a plan and follow the plan!
1. Stop spending more than you have.
This is not rocket science. If you are spending more than you make, you are up the creek. Only spend what you have and stay away from the credit cards.
The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. Proverbs 21:20 NLT
• Cancel your credit cards.
• Use cash only.
• Reduce monthly commitments (cable, internet, cell phones, magazine subscriptions are NOT necessary for most of us)
2. Sell assets
Do you really need all that stuff that is sitting around collecting dust that your kids and grandkids will get rid of anyway? If you are serious about getting rid of your debt, why not sell some the things that have value and payoff the debt?
When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and there will be enough money left over to support you and your sons.” 2 Kings 4:7 NLT
• Ditch the expensive car with the oppressive payment and get a quality used car.
• Sell assets that you don’t really and use money to pay off debt
3. Pay off debts systematically.
We are talking about some discipline here. I know from personal experience and the experience of others that once you get the ball rolling it is a rush to see the debt melt away.
• Pay off credit cards lowest balance to highest balance
• Don’t put money in savings when you are in debt – get out of debt first.
• Be creative in finding sources of extra income.
4. Once the debt is paid off use that money for savings
Save, but don’t hoard! Hoarding is a sin that will lead to greed and greed will lead to lots of people not liking you!
• Once one debt is paid, lump that payment in with other payments until all debts are retired.
• Then start SAVING the money you had been paying out.
5. Give back to God
You may be thinking, “If I start giving away my money, how in the world will I get out of debt?” One of the best ways to to turn the table on debt is to give!
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24 NLT
• Giving is the best way to combat materialism and “me-ism”
• Save $1,000 as fast you can for an emergency fund