Last night Chris and I had a frank discussion about our finances. Just this week one of Chris' co-workers shared that they had become debt free just this week. She and her husband had been saving for awhile to purchase a new home while also going through the Dave Ramsey money makeover. They got to a point where they had a nice amount set aside and she decided they should use that money towards paying off the remainder of their debt. It was a sacrifice to let an immediete desire go to accomplish a larger goal, but she explained that after doing this they felt so free. It was as if they had received a pay raise as the reality set in that they did not owe anyone any longer. They were no longer a slave to the lender. I have no doubt that they will be moving into a new house in no time.
We have continued our journey towards being debt free, but it has been slower than we had hoped. I mentioned to Chris how great it would be to be out of debt by the end of next year. In my mind it was a wish, but not really a reality. Chris said he had actually been thinking the same thing. Enter the uncomfortable part of the conversation. What do we need to do to get there? We both knew deep in our hearts the answer was simply to sacrifice a little more. I would say that we live fairly meagerly compared to the average American family. We don't have cable, I don't go out shopping much, and I usually always try to find a good deal. These are issues of the heart though. I realize that often we convince ourselves that we have given everything, but we still harbor those little things that keep us feeling comfortable. I wrote earlier about wanting new floors. I also have a weakness for travel. I began to re-evaulate all that we do and tried to think about how we could do a little more to squeeze every last penny towards paying down the debt.
God has blessed us so much even during this difficult economic times. Chris and I have been so fortunate to be in stable jobs with steady income flow. Could we really squander this God given opportunity to grow spiritually and free ourselves from the bondage of debt?
I believe debt is a serious epidemic in our world. It's not really that it is impossible to get out of debt, but our minds are so programmed to fullfilling our every need instantly. No matter who you are we are all guilty of worshipping at the alter of "stuff" at one point or another. How sad is it that it is excruciating to think about a year or two of sacrifice when the outcome is freedom for a lifetime. We have set our hearts and minds to make this year count. We have a high goal of being out of debt by the end of the year. It may be a longshot, but we are going to give it everything we have. The extra money will be nice when it is all said and done, but I must reiterate that it is truly an issue of the heart. How much stuff do I need in life? How much more can I give when I am not in slavery to Wells Fargo or Bank of America. This is another issue God has dealt with me on is giving. We have also taken another leap of faith to give more to missions this year. I know it doesn't really make since with the whole tightening of the belt, but that is where the faith comes in. I'm not looking for millions or some name it and claim it scam, but my heart is to see the kingdom of God advanced through people who are laying their lives down for Him.I hope to be out there doing the same thing one day and I believe getting out of debt while giving is what will get us to that point. This just may mean I need to sacrifice more of my wants and desires, but it is an investment in God's kingdom which will never need a government bailout.
So here we go running like gazelles. We have a purpose and desire. We are partnering our economy with God's so that His Kingdom may come.
Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids;
Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter's hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.