Friday, March 27, 2009

Stuggling with Debt


As Christians, it would be assumed that we would have a different view on money than the rest of the world. While the Bible tells us to store up our treasure in heaven, not on the earth, the rest of the world equates wealth and economic affluence with success. That is why so many of our neighbors are struggling in debt because they have been trying to live above their standard of living.


While we can assume we have a different view on money, in actuality, most of the Christians I know have fallen into the same world view as everyone else. Our desire and aspiration for our expensive homes and cars, our proclivity for getting into debt and the overall pursuit of worldly goods is actually no different “in the church” than outside. Maybe 30-40 years ago, our homes, incomes and expectations were modest. However today, most of our married families are “two-income” families which is thought necessary to maintain an acceptable standard of living.


The stark reality is it doesn’t matter what we think. The Psalms proclaim, "But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish" (Psalm 49:12). No matter how much anyone succeeds or fails in this struggle for wealth, all that we accumulate will surely perish with us. Extra money cannot add anything to one’s life except to be a test and a temptation.


The Bible does warn that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It also says, “Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” (1 Timothy 6:10). It is truly sad to think that because of the love of money (which perishes), people actually wander too far away from God.

However, the reverse is equally true. When getting rich and buying things are not the object of a person’s interest and devotion, the person is free to become whom God wants him or her to become. Finally, Hebrews 13:5 says, " Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have”, and “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6:6).

I can live with that!

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