It’s a “Now” World
Why would I ever wait to have something until I can pay for it, when the store will give it to me now and let me pay later? This is a question that many of us find our selves asking when it comes to things as little as clothing and as big as automobiles. Oswald Chambers says that lust is “the belief that it is my right to have what I want when I want it.” The world has made it so easy and so socially acceptable to just “put it on the card” and hope to pay for it later. It’s funny how debt has a way of becoming unmanageable and if you’ve ever been there, you know how much stress comes with it.
Read Luke 12:15.
- What is the cause of our blindness to debt? What is Jesus’ answer for us?
Read Proverbs 22:7.
- What happens when we get ourselves into debt?
Haggai was a prophet. His book in the Bible was written around 520 B.C. and it speaks to the Jews in exile. The temple was in ruins and God is calling them home to rebuild it. The people offer some lame excuses for not responding, and God, through Haggai, tells them, “You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. (Haggai 1:6)”
The building of the temple was a measurement of the people’s spiritual condition. They were blinded by their own wants. They had plenty, but they were blind. They spent far too much on themselves. Their priorities were off.
Read Haggai 1:1–6.
- Verse 4 talks about “living in paneled houses.” Debt drives us to set the wrong priorities. Is it the best decision to go into debt to have a “paneled house”? What is a better priority?
- In verse 5 he tells them to, “Consider your ways.” How could you reset your priorities to get out of debt completely?
Haggai’s questions in verse 6 in modern language ask: Are you eating more and able to buy less? Debt is a prison that is difficult from which to escape.
Dallas Willard wrote, “In our current world, a large part of the freedom that comes from frugality is freedom from the spiritual bondage caused by financial debt. This kind of debt is often incurred by buying things that are far from necessary, and its effect, when the amount is substantial, is to diminish our sense of worth, dim our hope for the future, and eliminate our sensitivity to the needs of others.”
The Apostle Paul agrees. He wrote in Romans 13:8, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
Read Proverbs 3:5, 7.
- Is it possible to live the life Christ called us to live when we’re strapped with debt?
- What must we do to begin taking steps to get out of debt? What’s one step you could take today?
 Oswald and Bibby Chambers, The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, Grand Rapids, Discovery House Publishers, 2000, Ebook edition.
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