People are struggling in keeping up with every aspect of life, it seems. The daily news is mixed with stories of “all will be well” to “there is a ‘Fiscal Cliff’ looming ahead that will devastate the economy even more”. With all the talk about the future and what it may bring, I looked at one aspect of the debate at hand. I looked at the issue of the connectivity and the relationship of debt to prosperity. By connectivity I mean that we are connected to others around the world. I am not talking about the social media but the real social-economic mediums that exist. These mediums have shrunk the world to the point that what one does affects us all. No longer can a person or country remain isolated from others. Because of necessity, natural resources from one country are sold on the world markets to other countries.
How is debt created and why? Most people buy what they want, when they want and give little or no thought about tomorrow. Today people look at debt as a very natural course of life. It is easy to succumb to the advertisements that subtly reach into our minds and finally our pocketbooks. The advertisers’ allurements are directed to several specific areas of our complexity… create the need, then the desire, and finally provide the easy way to acquire through credit and extending beyond what is reasonable. Sounds good but it is forfeiting tomorrow for today.
Debt, as a villain, has entered the Church. It has infiltrated and weakened the ability for many to fulfill their calling and purpose according to the will of God. Debt is bondage. Debt has its roots in the spirit of pleasure and narcissism. It robs blessings from the next generation for today’s pleasure. Debt destroys marriages, homes, and relationships.
Many claim some debt is okay. For instance, to maintain a good credit score one must use the credit cards, and pay the monthly bills on time. This whole concept of credit is deceptive and destructive. There is no good debt. Debt and the spirit behind it, seeks mastery over a person. It strives to keep the person from being free to function as God intends the person to function. Take a look at the many credit cards any given person carries. Each card represents a master who seeks repayment at costly terms.
Prosperity, in most circles, is measured by what you have and how much you have- such as cars, clothes, large houses with fashionable furniture and decor. Being able to afford the monthly payments does not mean prosperity. To be truly prosperous is to be debt-free.
Being deft-free is the means to truly prosper. The person who is debt-laden reaches a saturation point of not being able to seize opportunities when they appear or help when there is a need. Being debt-free is enabling. A person is then able to do much, such as, contribute to the Kingdom of God, help those in need, acquire wealth, leave a godly legacy and enjoy life due to not being encumbered with debt.
Here are six things one can do to gain the upper hand with finances:
- Pay off all debt as quickly as possible
- Always pay the tithe (10%) of the income
- Separate 10% for giving to others in need
- Save 10%
- Invest 10% with soundness and wisdom, and
- Live on the rest (60%).
This may seem difficult to do for the 21st century person but this is what countless of generations did up and into the mid-20th century. Those generations knew the concept and practiced the principle of Proverbs 22:7, “The rich (lender) rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender”.
Being debt free is being prosperous. Saving and investing in assets that appreciate in value provide the advantage of securing the future with the blessing of God. Being discipline in knowing the difference between need from impulse buying provides a person with wisdom and soundness in making good decisions that are lasting and profitable to the next generation. Proverbs 13:22 states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children….”