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A Word to the Wise

As I write this article, the federal debt of the United States sits just below $20 trillion [1]. By the time you read this post, we will probably have crossed the $20 trillion mark.

To say that the nation is drunk with debt would be an understatement. Congressmen from both parties have refused to make tough decisions that defer spending and instead have chosen political expediency. Not only is our society kicking the proverbial can down the road, but we are leaving it to our children and to their children to clean up this mess.

It would be bad enough if it was just our government that was given over to such a lack of foresight. However, our collective personal spending habits are nearly just as bad. Consumer debt levels in the United States are approaching $18.5 trillion [2]. This figure includes outstanding mortgages, student loans, credit card spending, auto loans and other forms of consumer-driven borrowing.

The Scripture is clear that “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). And while it is not considered a sin to borrow, God’s Word certainly advises against it: “Owe no one anything” (Romans 13:8).

Additionally, debt levels have an impact on the generosity of a nation. There are many who would have you believe that big government programs represent the ideals of a giving people. The reverse is actually true. Big government by definition means that people are demanding more and more from others and expecting taxpayers to foot the bill. The level of a country’s debt largely reflects the values of a people who are becoming less and less generous over time.

From a practical standpoint, if more and more of your income is going to pay down federal and consumer debt obligations, you have less to save and less with which to be generous. Let me encourage you to get out of debt and to start saving for tomorrow. King Solomon echoed this plea by advising us to plan for the future:

Proverbs 6:6-8 – “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.”

Proverbs 21:20 – “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.”

Proverbs 21:5 – “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

If you are looking for guidance in managing your wealth for tomorrow (Proverbs 15:22), Believers Stewardship Services can be of assistance. Although we don’t offer debt counseling, BSS does offer an investment advisory service to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, if you are looking for assistance in how to creatively support the Lord’s work of your choice, we can help with that as well.

[1] http:///www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/unitedstates (19.86 trillion on May 2, 2017)

[2] http://www.usdebtclock.org ($18.29 trillion on May 2, 2017)

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Rob Sullivan
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