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God's Money and You Part 11: Debt Pt. 2

By Pastor Philip Howle
web posted October 24, 2012

RELIGION – We looked at the Bible’s view of debt last week. Scripture indicates that we should never undertake debt without prayerful consideration and good reasons. Before we get into any form of debt, it is suggested by Randy Alcorn that we should ask the following questions: 

·    Is the risk called for?
·    Do the benefits of becoming servants to the lender really outweigh the costs?
·    What should we ask ourselves before going into debt?
·    Is the fact that I don’t have enough resources to pay cash for something God’s way of telling me it isn’t His will for me to buy it?
·    Or is it possible that this thing may have been God’s will but poor choices put me in a position where I can’t afford to buy it?
·    Wouldn’t I do better to learn God’s lesson by foregoing it until—by His provision and my diligence—I save enough money to buy it?

What I find that pervades most peoples use of debt is a set of wrong assumptions.
We need more than God has given us.
God doesn’t know best what our needs are.
God has failed to provide for our needs, forcing us to take matters into our own hands.
If God doesn’t come through the way we think He should, we can find another way.

It is important that you develop convictions against being a slave to debt, because people with Biblical convictions against incurring debt will usually find a way to avoid it.  However, those without a firm conviction against going into debt will justify their need of the debt to purchase the “essential” item. Look at your life and understand that the more you’re inclined to go into debt, the more probable it is that you shouldn’t.
Here is the last of the good advice I have collected from different places.

First, nothing is a good deal unless you can afford it.  Think about finding a deal on a $300,000 house that you can buy for $215,000. This sounds like a great deal right? Yes, but only if you can reasonably afford the $215,000 price tag. Please understand that God is not behind every good deal!  Self-control means turning down most good deals on things we want because God may have other plans for His money. Sadly, many people step into financial bondage because they spend money they don’t have in order to pay for a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Second, you don’t save money by spending money. My wife has taught me this. Saving money is setting it aside for a future purpose. Spending money is making it disappear. If you buy a $70 jacket on sale for $35, how much do you save?  Nothing! You spent $35.

Third, just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that God wants you to, or that you should buy it.

Fourth, please understand the manipulative nature of advertising. Commercials and advertisements are designed to steal your money! Advertising thrives on instilling discontent.  People make their living by persuading you to buy things you don’t need.

Fifth, little expenses add up to big problems.  Look at your expenses. Do you smoke,  aside from the health risks, it is expensive!  A pack a day smoker will easily burn up a $1,000 dollars this year! Do you eat lunch out? A few times a week adds up quick. Be aware of your little expenses.  Small leaks will create big problems

A few more small things and I will leave your money alone. But I pray you don’t leave money alone, but work and seek to utilize it as best you can for your well being and God’s kingdom.  I know I have been preaching the Bible as pretty anti-debt. I do hold to my conclusions, but what about borrowing to buy a house? Randy Alcorn says that “Most Christian financial counselors put home mortgages in a different category from other debts. The reason is that the loan is secured by the house’s equity. If something came up and payments can’t be made, the home can be sold and the equity—which is the current sale value of the house minus the amount still owed on the mortgage—can be regained.”

Sadly, many homeowners end up buying a house that’s out of their price range.  We all need shelter, but do we need a particular house in a certain neighborhood? We all need food, but do we need to eat out so often? We need clothes, but do we need designer labels?

·    “Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” (Luke 12:15); 
·    “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. . . . I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (Philippians 4:11-12).
·    “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
·    “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

Praying blessings on your and my finances! Pastor Phillip

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