to Getting Out of Debt
The 700 Club
-- Poverty is a lack of money or material possessions. Poverty is usually
accompanied by debt obligations to others. Debt, whether associated with poverty
or not, is a form of slavery. Following God's principles will break the hold of
both poverty and debt.
First of all, you must commit yourself, your finances,
your family, and your life to Jesus Christ. Agree to live by God's principles
and seek to know what He has to say to you in your situation. Be absolutely honest
about the faults and mistakes in your life, past or present, that may have caused
your problem of debt. To escape trouble, you must know what put you there.
do everything you can to understand God's principles. The Bible says, "My people
are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). There are many Christians who
have no concept whatsoever of the principles of God's kingdom. They understand
neither God's laws dealing with material prosperity nor their own privileges as
children of God. So, for lack of knowledge, they suffer.
People in debt
or in poverty especially need to understand a rule of God's kingdom that I call
the Law of Reciprocity. This is a law of cause and effect, of action and reaction.
In the area of money, the law is simple: "Give, and it will be given to you: Good
measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your
bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you"
(Luke 6:38). When a person begins to give to God's work and to the poor and less
fortunate, God begins to give back to him.
Regardless of the debt burden,
a person should give a very minimum of 10 percent of his income to the Lord. Even
if you are at a poverty-level income, you have something you can give to God.
Start where you are. Reach out in compassion to those less fortunate than yourself.
As a first priority, get into a position to give love, time, energy, and money
to other people even if it is only a little bit.
Next, set up a realistic
budget. Most people do not have budgets, and their spending has neither plan nor
control. Whatever your income level, you should set up a budget that includes
one or more tithes plus offerings to the Lord, which may be in the form of aid
to those who are less fortunate (see Malachi 3:10). After setting aside your tithe,
establish a realistic plan to pay off your debts. Go to your creditors and obtain
an agreement that they will accept your payment schedule. Make it understood that
you cannot pay any more than a certain amount, and they will almost always accept
Once you have done that, you have to resolve in your mind that
there will be no more accumulation of debt. You cannot go back to living beyond
your means. Make a vow to God that you will not buy anything on credit, and that
your lifestyle will be curtailed to fit your income. This takes a definite mental
and spiritual commitment. It may take a year, or two years, or five years, but
you are going to get out of debt.
A very wise businessman suggested that
part of any budget should go for recreation. There should be some time each month
when the family can get away from the pressures of life. Maybe it can be a picnic
in the park, a fishing trip, or possibly a night away from home in a motel or
resort. Recreation includes anything to get away from the constant pressure and
to allow your mind to be recreated in God.
Along with recreation, I recommend
a Sabbath rest. You cannot work seven days a week. There must be one day a week
that is dedicated to God, to thinking about Him, praying to Him, studying the
Bible, and resting. All of these things are necessary to prepare your mind and
spirit to win the battle.
Then, with all of these things going for you,
you need a renewed faith in God. He is the source. As you give to Him and trust
Him, God will begin to take you from bondage to debt into His blessings. He will
open doors for you and will give you concepts and ideas to help you overcome your
situation. You must believe this and expectantly look for His answer rather than
to some other person as your source. God is your source.
Every day, speak
words of confidence. Say out loud that you are going to be free from debt and
that God is going to put you in a different position. Memorize scripture verses
where God says things such as, "He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the
beggar from the ash heap to set them among princes" (I Samuel 2:8). Speak these
words over and over again, confidently, knowing that God can do all things and
do them well.
With that frame of mind, you should be on your way. It may
take a year to pay off your debts. In the instances that I know of, the average
was about eighteen months. But it may take three, four, or even five years.
You will win the battle if you use the weapons that God
has made available to you! You can be debt free!
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