Virtuous Blonde and I sat down again this past weekend trying to figure out, for this month, what we should do with the money that the Lord has entrusted to us. It’s a big responsibility. At one point in our life, we allowed ourselves to go into debt on a couple of cars. Then we tacked on part of a payment for a new roof.
The question came down to what is important as far as priorities in our house. You see, we picked up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s book, the Total Money Makeover. What was most eye-opening for me was two concepts. The first, the sheer amount of money that we make in a life time– and just how much we are blowing in interest. The second goes along with Harry Bethel’s next list item for pastors:
A God-sent pastor would accept and apply the truth of Romans 13:8 to not owe any money or finance anything including houses, automobiles, furniture, appliances, church buildings or have business loans or loans for anything else. He would not use or have credit cards. He would trust in the Lord to provide all his needs. He would accept the truth that the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).
Yes, Proverbs 22:7 is a powerful verse– the borrower is a slave to the lender. This is exactly the reason that you should not lend money to family. It should be a gift, but I digress. We should desire to be “slaves” to Christ alone, and as Christians we should want to stay away from debt.
There are many Christians in bondage as we speak. My family being one of them. Lord willing, we will be out of all but the house by this time next year, but that’s not the point. Debt is something that grows. They wouldn’t be offering you a card if they didn’t expect you not to pay off your balance every month. They throw on gimmicks to get you to sign up because that more than 60% of those who have cards carry a balance from month to month.
Christians should stay away from, or get out of debt. Ramsey believes that the only debt that’s acceptable is a mortgage for a house– and even then it should be a 15-year mortgage. Good stewardship demands that we do what is financially prudent.
That being the case, I’m personally aware of many Pastors that are debt free (including the house which can be a parsonage), though I have seen some that have many struggles with money and debt. It should be something avoided. Chop up those cards and start paying them off!