In most parts of the world, the majority of people are in debt, most of them in what would be called by our fathers before us serious debt, the kind that used to make sleep difficult for a man. There was a time when financial debt was frowned upon by society, it meant that man was either unwilling, or unable to exert self-control, and any in whom the character trait was not found was seen as untrustworthy by the general population.
Perhaps I have stated this before, but it is worth repeating, my grandfather raised four children during the great depression, and he said to me more than once that he would rather stand in a soup line during those days then go to a banker. He saw it as not only a detrimental character trait, but as a sign of begging. “If you don’t have the money in your billfold, that means you can’t afford it.” Not so today, and the downfall of every corner of civilization will come from it. “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Prov. 22:7)
And we now reside in a world of slaves, slaves who very soon are going to have their notes called. If you truly believe Phil. 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” then every time you sign a promissory note, you are denying the power of the Lord to fulfill His word, your patience is not what it should be, and your character, along with your witness for Him, has just taken a decisive blow. It amazes me just how easily some born-again believers put their faith in themselves in this area while still professing to be servants of the Most High, decades of debt, very little patience. Striving continuously to pay for that which they would not be patient for, professing a trust in Christ, while racking up credit card bills, car loans, house payments, and almost anything else that is offered to them if they will just sign on the dotted line. When the rain begins to fall on the unjust, many of the just are going to get very wet.
The lost souls that I meet no longer ask me what I think of their new vehicle, for my reply is almost always, “Is it yours, or the banks?” The saved are no different, it is a rare man indeed who has learned self-control in this area, it is even rarer to find one that inhibits his appetites for the glory of God. A man of character and integrity, in other words, is a difficult man to find today. Patience is no longer a captivating virtue for most believers, for the temporary wants overshadow their desire for the eternal, they are not willing to sacrifice, and they will give you every excuse under the sun for their leisurely lifestyle, for the slavery they have put themselves into. I liken these brothers and sisters to the man who found his ground to yield much, so he built larger barns, and then died that night, (Luke 12:16-21) only in the inverse of that parable though. The nice house is expected, the massive school loan debt is rationalized, the new vehicle is a necessity, the credit cards are just an easier way. They all say the same thing, I want what I want, and I am not going to wait on the Lord to provide my wants.
There is no place in all the Scriptures that says debt is a good thing, we are not even to co-sign for anyone. (Prov. 22:26) Try telling your children that you were not wise enough, that you did not follow Biblical principles when the time comes for them to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt, when it’s time for them to head off to college. Try using any excuse when the car dealer sends the repossession man for your vehicle, go tell the banker who was so friendly and willing to borrow you all that money for your house that you cannot make your monthly payments anymore. Then go tell your wife and family that you did not heed the instructions of the Lord, and so until something changes, you are all going to be living in a motel room, or under a bridge.
Now, before all that happens, go look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are no longer going to be anyone’s slave but Christ’, beg for His forgiveness and mercy, and He will show you the way out. You can saunter into debt my friends, but you cannot saunter out, it will be tough, but you will be blessed, if you are doing it for the Lord, if you have decided to become a man of character and integrity, if you truly decide to be a slave to only One. If not, then you have no one to blame but yourself.