Debt can kill you and the bible gives strong cautions against it because it steals freedom, is expensive and opportunity destroying. It leaves us enslaved, no longer working for the vision God called us to but working because we can’t afford not to work. Below is a 5 step ‘Get out of debt plan’ explaining how to get out of the debt trap.
- Introspect.21:2 says ‘Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.’ With God’s help, search your heart to discover what led to this debt situation. Did you fail to plan ahead/manage risk or were you impatient or proud. Repent and purpose to be a good steward of money.
- Create a survivor budget.6:5 gives this advice to someone in debt… ‘Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter’. When a gazelle is being chased by a cheetah, it takes on a gazelle like intensity not to be a cheetah’s breakfast. So create a survivors budget with only basic necessities to survive and get out the debt.
- Get current with all your creditors. Psalm 37:21 ‘The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives’. If you’re behind on payments, don’t turn your phone off! Renegotiate the debts to the minimum repayments that you can afford. Show commitment by paying something regularly.
- Create a mini-emergency fund. Prov.6:6-8 ‘Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, et it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.’ Before you start paying off your debts. Copy the ant and set up some emergency reserves to cover 3 – 6 months expense or in this time of a pandemic save 1 – month fund. In case you use the money in the event of a real emergency then rebuild the emergency fund first before continuing with debt repayment.
- 5. Pay off ALL your debts. With determination, resolve to get out of debt beginning with the smallest debt to the largest amount. Paying off the smallest payment first is the principle of quick wins, which increases motivation and momentum. Remember to tithe as you do this. Don’t rob God to pay man!
I have seen many people follow this advice and completely eliminate debt while others did this only to borrow again and find themselves in the same hole because they failed to learn the lessons in the first place.
To help us to make wise decisions, join us in the proverbs challenge, which requires reading a Proverb a day from the Biblical book of Proverbs. Do this with a group of friends and note down what you think God is saying to you about your business and debrief weekly.
Prayer: Deuteronomy 28:12: “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”