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.