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Debt Myth #6: “But it’s Impossible!”

Via Flickr, by user Inha Leex Hale. Used under Creative Commons License.

Strap on your harness, load your weapons and pull out your best Tom Cruise imitation — it’s time to tackle your own “Mission: Impossible.”

When you try to tell people that debt isn’t part of God’s plan for their lives, they’ll come back at you with a bunch of myths and excuses: Debt increases buying power; debt is a safety net; everyone has a little bit of debt. They’ll say that some debt is good debt, or that carrying debt is okay, as long as you can make the payments. But once you debunk all the myths and walk them through all the math, you’ll come down to the attitude that is likely at the root of it all:

“But it’s impossible!”

The specifics of the objection may vary, but the root is always the same. Fans of debt and credit will find some impossible mission that is critical in their lives, and that can only be accomplished by borrowing money. Fill in the blank: “But it’s impossible to __________________________ without borrowing money!”

People claim any number of things. It’s impossible to go to college, to go to grad school, to go to med school or law school. It’s impossible to buy a car. It’s impossible to have a nice wedding or go on a honeymoon. It’s impossible to make it through emergencies, or to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life without accumulating some debt along the way. The object or activity of desire changes, but the attitude is always the same — people trust debt more than they trust God.

When we strip away all of the financial jargon, advertising images and personal habits, our attitude toward borrowing is really a matter of trust. Our credit-drunk, consumption-happy society has conditioned us to trust debt. We trust in the banks that loan us money, and the credit card companies that give us lines of credit attached to little plastic cards. When a bank fails us, or a loan officer turns us down, we can even feel betrayed. Borrowing is the system that we’ve learned to trust; for many people, borrowing is the only reality that they know.

But I believe that we’ve been taught a lie, and that God’s word reveals a much greater truth. (I would make a Matrix reference here, but I would hate to mix my movie metaphors.) Philippians 4:19 tells us what we should really trust:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

It’s not the bank that supplies your needs. It’s not even your employer (although work is certainly part of God’s provision). It is God who supplies.

Look at the scripture carefully. It promises that God will meet all your needs (not just the easy ones). And it tells us that His provisions come according to His glorious riches. Banks may have a lot of money, but no wealth in the world compares to the glorious riches in Christ.

As believers, we trust God’s word that He loves us (and we even sings songs about that.) We trust His word that we’re saved from our sins by the blood of Jesus. We trust His word that He has a wonderful plan for our lives. Yet sadly, many of us fail to trust what His word says about provision and finance.

If we’re really going to live in the financial freedom that God has for us, we have to adjust our attitudes, and point our hearts back to God as our provider. The bank does not meet my needs. It does not have my back. When I am in a desperate situation, I don’t pray to American Express. My God saves me, and He does it every time.

So the next time you think that it’s impossible for you to accomplish something without borrowing money, remember this: Someone has been in that same place before you, and God has proven Himself faithful to provide for them without the bondage of slavery.

Above all, we have this promise in Him: “With God, all things are possible.” And I’d take Him above Tom Cruise any day.

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Comments

  1. Since God isn’t actually real and taxes and money are horrifyingly real, people like myself are left with so few options when it comes to getting a degree, which is required by every single employer these days, everyone wants a damn Bachelors degree which basically means that THEY WANT YOU IN DEBT so that they can depend on your need to pay the loans as work incentive, as if the need to eat and live isn’t incentive enough. And the only other option for someone who was not born into a wealthy family, who cannot take out loans, and who works and therefor does not qualify for federal assistance is to keep on working that crappy job and paying your taxes.

    If our Government invested money in its people by funding public universities and giving free educations as opposed to treating teachers and people like leeches then we just might not have any of these problems. But noooooooooo, everyone is so easily manipulated that the word Socialism automatically attracts a negative connotation because nobody wants to do their homework on it or they feel like their taxes should go to something other than someone else.

    What should those taxes go for? Who do you think pays for every congress member’s healthcare? TAX PAYERS. The sad reality is that the tax dollars collected pay ridiculous salaries. If the United States Government wanted to make its situation better it would start sending people to college, educating its people, and moving forward.

    Oh, and God is totally not real.

Trackbacks

  1. […] because you can afford the payments doesn’t mean that you can afford the purchase; that it isn’t impossible to live without borrowing. You’re ready to begin doing something about your […]

  2. […] If you grew up in a family that was entrenched in the debt culture, you may be so used to borrowing money that you can’t imagine living without it. Indeed, some people argue that it’s impossible to do big things — like buying a car or going to college — without going into debt. But there’s a difference between difficult and impossible. The truth is that people pay cash for big expenses like cars and education every day, and they’re not necessarily wealthy people. Rather, they’re people who understand the dangers of debt and have done the hard work to save up money to pay for what they want. Living without debt is not impossible. In fact, once you learn to do it, it’s one of the most liberating decisions you’ll ever make. Learn more here. […]

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