There are as many different ideas about money management out there as there are people it seems. I was driving home the other day when I heard an advertisement for a debt consolidation company. They went on and on about overextended credit cards, late payments and fees. It is depressing to think that there are that many people living this way that these services still exist – making people think they are solving a problem while only creating another one. Debt is a huge problem in our country on the national scale and the personal scale. Our culture has taught us that credit scores and payments are a normal part of life. Yet, it does run counter to what God says in His Word.
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7
Let’s say you purchase a car on credit. Because you have borrowed you now need to take on a certain level of insurance, whether you would like to or not. Sometimes they even force you to buy GAP insurance on top of that. Maybe you don’t mind that, but it certainly does make you a slave to the lender. Of course you need to make a payment every month in order to finally pay for the car. Of course the car continues to devalue and by the time it is paid off you want a new one. And so the cycle goes.
I saw an article today that said credit card use is up again. That is a scary thing to think about. I know that there are people struggling, but we can’t finance our entire lives on plastic. How foolish is it to finance take out food or other entertainment on credit cards! It is just an never-ending cycle.
I think as stewards of God’s money we need to be thinking about how we spend it. My boys have been coming home telling me they want an I-Pod. I told them that if they wanted an I-Pod they would have to pay for it with their money. They soon realize that the small amount of cash they have left from their birthdays or Christmas is not going to get it done. And yet, what a joy it was to hear the story my wife told me about the boys giving a beggar the last bit of money they had one day while running errands with her.
My point is simple: we need to get a grip on debt in this country. It is not healthy to live under it and it certainly does not allow for free giving to take place. Parents need to teach their kids about money and how to manage it. Churches need to teach about the connection between your wallet and your faith. Schools need to help perspective students understand what it costs to attend there and why they should not be borrowing it all. We just need to get away from the idea that it is normal to borrow money. It should be the exception. Paying for school for 30 years after graduation is ridiculous.
What do you think? Am I too old-fashioned? I think it is a discussion that needs to be had especially with the younger generation. After all, if we realize that all we have is God’s, it will change the way we look at everything.