The greatest obstacle to contentment is comparison. Debt seeks to secure our happiness now by committing to pay more for it later.
The Culture’s Position on Debt
- You might envy the stuff that another has, but you don’t know the stress that it takes to keep it.
- Comparison leads to discontentment; discontentment often leads to debt.
- Debt attempts to secure our happiness now by committing to pay more for it later.
- 2019 Averages
- Average household credit card debt – $8,398
- Average student loan balance – $35,359
- Average car payment – $554 new and $391 used
- Average APR credit card rate – 15.09%
God’s Wisdom Regarding Debt
Prov. 22:7, 26-27
7 The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
26 Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
- Much of the world’s economy is built around the rich getting richer on the backs of the poor getting poorer (22:7).
- Discontentment leads to enslavement (22:7).
- The more enslaved you are to debt payments, the less free you are to do good when opportunities come (22:7).
- The Bible warns about co-signing because it endangers your situation and enables another’s (22:26; cf. 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18).
- While debt appears to be a good method to get more stuff, it has a greater potential of taking more than it gives (22:27).
Your Response to Debt
- While debt may be necessary for a few purchases, it should never be utilized for all transactions.
- If you are only making minimum payments on your credit cards, you should consider getting rid of them altogether.
- If you can’t afford it now, you need to avoid it now.
- Don’t make financial decisions that cause you to be a burden to others or keeps you from being a blessing to others.
- If you struggle with what you possess, remember to Whom you belong.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.