The Un-Fun Shadow: Debt Culture and Freedom

Sometimes, a lot of the time, I look at purchases as “investments.” This might be a new pair of jeans or a dress; it might be a new mirror or an entryway doormat. But really, “investments” are just a way to justify an expensive, non-necessary purchase at the time.

In our second bible study, Dave Ramsey reminded us that we don’t actually own anything. God is our provider, our banker, our Father who may look at us when we ask for money and then ask himself, do I trust my son or daughter to be wise with this?

Ramsey also talked about how debt is marketed in America. Debt is normalized. We expect to have in our 20s the standard of living that our parents may have in their 50s. Which is quite illogical. And it’s also weird that in the land of the free, freedom is actually a rare and special occasion because of our materialistic habits.

We could be free, but every purchasing decision determines that reality. Yes, we are free in Christ, but financial freedom is probably a shadow that God uses to illustrate the price He has paid for us. Debt, although a very un-fun thing, can be a way for us to experience God’s forgiveness in a real, tangible, and understandable way.

In Christ, we have the power to change our behaviors and the Spirit changes our desires. Maybe we don’t feel like we need that book from the indie bookstore. Maybe we’re okay with borrowing from the library. Maybe we can be okay where God has us in this stage of life. That’s not to say that eventually we’ll be financially rich, that that is the goal. Because it’s not really.

Maybe the goal is to experience the fullness of Christ’s freedoms. Why do we continuously enslave ourselves to housewares, relationships, foods, and lifestyles?

Our brains and hearts are broken. It’s kind of obvious.

My husband and I also discussed though the extremes of this situation: We don’t have to live like rats on our journey to being debt free. We can enjoy God’s gifts as they come to us. We can savor the treats and delight in the sips of freedom. (I’m definitely thinking about ice cream.)

Lastly, here are a few tips from this Ramsey guy on how to get on the right track:

  • Save $1,000.
  • Quit borrowing money. Allow God’s people to show up in your life. You don’t have to be self-sufficient.
  • Prayer really works. Your Father is the God of the universe, and He made everything and owns everything. So ask Him for things.
  • Sell something. Or my alternative is don’t get something you want right now. Like a cat.
  • Get an extra job. Because why not? You can be free at work, too. You can be free and rested in any situation with the Spirit. The Spirit isn’t just for the evenings and weekends.

To look at the first bible study in this series, click here. The next and last study in the series can be found here.

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