Being burdened is one of the most unsettling feelings there is. Its as if there is a perpetual weight dragging you down from living. When that weight is lifted off, its a momentous and joyous feeling. And for those who are under the burden of debt, being free seems like the only thing you can focus on.
My wife and I know the feeling. In June 2014, we decided to seriously pursue getting out of debt. Our debt total was $40,000 and we knew that our family would suffer if this debt wasn’t eliminated. We now have an action plan to get out of debt, doing whatever we can on this Journey out of Debt. Today, July 25 2014, our total debt is down to $36,500, with a target date of June 2015 to be debt free. Saving and cutting expenses have been our tools against debt. But we also understand that our purpose isn’t found in being free from financial debt, or in being wealthy and healthy.
Our purpose, whether we acknowledge or realize it or try to ignore it, is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. As Christians, financial debt doesn’t keep us dismayed, because money doesn’t dictate our joy. To be honest, the fluctuations in our bank account has dictated our joy, and that’s because we lose sight of the bondage our sin had on us. I sometimes get frustrated with myself when I let $40,000 worth of debt overshadow the price Jesus paid to set me free from my sin. Nothing compares to the debt Jesus paid on my behalf.
Whenever I lose sight of my purpose, when I put my own ideas and dreams ahead of what’s really important, I’m reminded of how insignificant my wants and desires are compared to my needs. I want to be wealthy, but that’s an insignificant goal compared to knowing and loving my Savior, Jesus Christ. There isn’t a dichotomy between having aspirations of being wealthy and being a Christian. However, its crucial to remind myself of who is really my God, and it should never be money or wealth or riches.
The fact is, God doesn’t bless me with earthly possessions to show me His goodness and favor. He has already blessed me by having His Son die for me. God doesn’t want me to be rich, he wants me to act, speak, and love like Jesus does. If by God’s grace my family becomes wealthy, God is good. If not, God is good. What’s most important is that we display and glorify him in everything we do. I know that it isn’t through good times of blessings that maturity in Christ is fostered. It is through suffering and hard times. The difficulty in accepting these truths arises when I forget that I’m not God.
My family’s journey out of debt has already been completed and paid for. It happened when Jesus gave his life for us all. Our financial struggles and victories aren’t the most important issues we face, sin is. As we embark on this journey out of financial debt, we have to remind ourselves that although being debt free is a good thing, it isn’t a God thing. Meaning, being debt free can be beneficial to us, but what will always be more important is our relationship with Christ. Regardless of what we want for our lives, God has a better plan, and it may not include any type of riches or fame, and that’s good. We have to remember that if we didn’t have anything in this world except for Jesus, that is all we need, and our earthly wants don’t need to be satisfied. God wants me to get to a point in my Christian maturity where all I want is Jesus, and everything else doesn’t compare.
I hope that you’ll join us on our journey to become financially free from debt. The burden of financial debt can be lifted by saving and investing consistently. But what is even more important is that you’ll want to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, where everything else is meaningless compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus as Lord. Let’s journey together.