A few weeks ago, I heard a sermon about how God fights for us, and, in turn, about how we are to fight for each other. A main point of the sermon was that God fights to win our heart; He does not simply fight for a change in our behavior.
We all struggle with sin patterns in our lives. We all struggle because we have only a limited perspective. We all struggle with being subject to unintended consequences of our own (or others’) decisions. These struggles are the price of being human.
Whatever the reason you find yourself in a crisis debt situation, you can be certain that God is fighting for you. He’s fighting for your heart, not just for a change in your behavior.
Whenever I speak, I advocate five fundamental principles of money management that you will find in the Bible: spend less than you earn, give generously, avoid the use of debt, maintain savings, and set long-term goals. As you work out of a crisis debt situation, these are the five “behaviors” that God gives you in Scripture to help you undo that crisis in your life.
However, as you seek to implement those five principles, you will find that God will engage your heart. He will reveal heart issues as you budget, pay down your debt, discipline yourself to save, and define your long-term goals. Those heart issues are really what He is after in your life.
Budgeting is not God’s ultimate goal for you; rather, His desire is that your heart would be satisfied with His provision. Putting goals on paper is not God’s ultimate goal for you; rather, He wants your heart to engage with Him about His will for your life and His desires for your future. He is after your heart. All of life’s hard roads exist so that He can capture, mold, and free your heart.
So, if you struggle with a crisis debt situation, follow these 5 simple steps to begin finding freedom from that bondage:
1. Determine a solid spending plan that includes repayment of debt
2. Work hard to get your expenses within the bounds of your income
3. Begin working on your debt snowball (http://www.ronblueinstitute.com/tools)
4. Tell someone what you are doing and ask them to keep you accountable to the plan
5. Pray for God’s strength and endurance
The process may not be quick, but the sacrifices it takes to get you out of the crisis debt situation are the things that will keep you from getting right back into the same situation.
If you feel you need crisis debt counseling, go to www.cccsatl.org to find help at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta (an excellent service that is not limited to Atlanta).
Be alert to the ways in which God is fighting for your heart, and open yourself up to the deeper work that He desires in your life. May God’s peace encourage you as you pursue financial wisdom and depend on His Truth.