Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler. Proverbs 6:4-5
I started the new year with a drive and determination to tackle and resolve a few issues that kept me from being the greater version for myself. Being better in certain areas would allow me to do more and be more effective regarding the things of God. One main area was financial improvement and management.
I'd irresponsibly accumulated some debt over the past few years. I will transparently admit that I was horrible with money management. Paying bills felt like a burden because "I didn't have the means". Well, that's not exactly the whole truth, I did have the means. I just mismanaged what I had. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (ESV).” In that case, fast food, Hulu subscription, and Amazon.com had a big portion of my heart (shaking my head shamefully as I write this). My goal was #debtfree2018 (out side of student loans). This was really big for me and reaching this goal was important for a few reasons.
Debt often reflects mismanagement and irresponsibility with the Lord’s resources. God always provides what I need, sometimes more than I deserve. On different occasions, I've just failed at being a good steward over what He has provided. This made me feel really bad. I was disappointed in myself for mishandling what God so lovingly provided and I was determined to do better.
Debt creates unnecessary tension in your life and is a form of bondage. Some of my greatest moments of anxiety has been due to financial strain. I was that person who would not answer the phone when I knew or thought it was a bill collector. Mainly because I didn't have the money at time. So those accounts that were not resolved at it's point of origination went in to collections. It damaged my credit and I owed everybody at the same time. I found myself "robbing Paul to pay Peter, but was still in debt with Paul". This is not how God intended for us to live.
Debt prevents us from giving generously to the Lord’s work. Prayer, fasting, and studying the word of God are key components in being effective for the kingdom. What many may not realize is that money is too, a key component for effectiveness. A lot of what we need or use to reach others do not come free. Even when things are donated, at some point it had to be purchased. I would even go further and say that the person you felt lead to pray for, also may be in need of a meal or a new pair of shoes.
This Journey started at the end of 2017. I set out to reach my goal by the end of the summer. Focused and determined, I accomplished it in 3 months. On April 5th, I paid off the last 3 lingering debts in collections and there was a long awaited sigh of relief. It was one that I thought I would never experience. Now that I have the debt under control, I am working on maintaining that freedom.
We may obtain debt and go into default, that is not the greatest problem. The greater issue occurs when we don't pay off the debt or at least take the necessary steps. Psalm 37:21 says, "The wicked borrow and do not repay. Even if it takes a year or two, start with what you have. In another light, by borrowing you may be denying God an opportunity to provide. The Lord has promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19). Sometimes borrowing is just an easy way out of a situation that would otherwise force us to grow in our faith (- Ron Blue).
I never really knew how much weight my financial debt carried until I came into the knowledge of who God truly was in regards to me. This was the same with my spiritual debt. The blessings God has stored up for those who walk in covenant with Him are far more greater than any we could ever attain here on this earth, but we will never come close to experiencing that without relationship with Him. God knew that we could never repay the debt that we owe, so He took care of it. In addition to that, He has provided the manual to living and maintaining a debt free life until Jesus' return.
We should have a desire to be good stewards of this life that God has given us. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we were released from bondage of all sin. He gave us a helper in the Holy Spirit, who is a teacher, peace, strength, and so much more. So whether you are dealing with financial debt, spiritual debt, or both; I encourage you to lean into God and his word. Allow him to give you a strategy and then stick to the plan. When you do so, you will see Him move in supernatural ways.
Heavenly Father, By your Spirit, help me to bring my thoughts and will in to alignment with your word concerning my financial and spiritual debt. I have not been a good steward of the many blessings and resources you have provided. I desire to do and be better. Today I repent and surrender to you way. As I lean in to you, give me a strategy and help me to stick to the plan. In Jesus' Name, Amen.