I’ll be honest. For a couple years, the debt I was in didn’t really matter to me…
No. I did not rack up tens of thousands in credit card debt and the interest that comes with it. I did my best not to spend too much on material things. And I never liked the idea of buying stuff with money I did not have. But I did have loans attached to the home I live in.
Outside of my primary mortgage, I borrowed about $25,000; and my projected payoff date ranged between 15 and 30 years from now. And I was okay with that.
See, back then, I believed in such a thing as “good debt.” As long as I had a plan to make my minimum payments or sell (so the debts would get paid off with equity or become the next owner’s inherited problem), I was content… Until early 2020, that is… That’s when I read Psalm 37:21, where it says, “The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.” And it changed everything.
The Bible is very clear about debt. Why? Because God knows that it can draw our attention away from more important matters in life. He knows that debt allows the wrong kind of dependence, rather than a dependence on Him. He knows that there is no freedom in debt (Proverbs 22:7). And as I reflect on how much less I can actually afford with debt in my life… He’s right.
Living in debt has often been a distraction in my life. A distraction that has kept me up at night. A distraction that has prevented me from being able to give as much as God intends. And a distraction that has prevented me from being as open-hearted to others and Jesus.
Our two greatest commandments are to love God, with all our heart, mind and soul; and to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). Don’t let your debt situation stop you from fulfilling two important parts to living out God’s purpose for your life.
Getting out of debt matters, because your freedom matters. God gave us the gift of free will. So that we could make our own decisions. And I know for a fact that I don’t feel entirely “free” to make my own decisions when the minimum payment on my loan is due.
He created us to be free. Free to love Him and others. Free to give. And free to live the full life that He intended for us (John 10:10).
If you’re ready to start your journey, check out Compass’ Building Your Finances God’s Way financial discipleship study.
I never thought I would have ever mustered up the motivation to get out of debt. But thanks to these financial discipleship studies that teach what God has to say about money—and every area of our lives— my life has been changed, and so have many others’. So, why can’t yours?
Melody Kerr, Managing Editor