“So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?”
Debt is a very real problem. As of the writing of this devotion, the average American carries a personal debt of over $90,000, with an average credit card debt of over $6,000. Debt is a problem for both the lost and the saved. Just because you are a believer doesn’t mean that your debt will be forgiven. You cannot enjoy life when debt controls you.
The verse above is about a steward who was not doing his job. He knew that he was about to lose his job, so he came up with a plan to go to those who owed his master money and work out a payment plan with them to help his master recover his money. This plan that the steward had was brilliant, and it teaches us several things as to how an individual can get themselves out of debt. Let me share the principles this steward shows us.
First, don’t run or hide from your debt. Debt does not get smaller just because you won’t look at it. You can run or hide from your debt, but your creditors will find you. Running and hiding from debt only causes your debt to get worse. At some point, you are going to have to face your debt if you are going to get that weight off your shoulders.
Second, you must know how much you owe. In the verse above, the steward asked those in debt, “How much owest thou unto my lord?” You cannot get out of debt without knowing that number from where you must start. One of the reasons people run and hide from their debt is because they don’t want to know how bad the number is, but this never helps you in getting out of debt. One reason people get into great debt is because they have established a bad habit of not looking at their debt. You cannot get out of debt until you know how much debt you have.
Third, communicate with your debtors. One thing that is evident in the verse above is that those in debt were communicating with the steward. As hard as it may be, you must communicate with those with whom you have debt. Now, they will do everything in their power to get you to pay everything at once, but most of the time, you don’t have to pay everything. The fact that you are communicating with them tells them that you want to work with them to pay off your debt.
Fourth, pay something on your debt. You will never get out of debt unless you pay something on it regularly. Don’t let the timeframe it will take to pay off your debt cause you to run and hide. If you look at paying off debt as a challenge instead of an albatross about your neck, you will be more motivated to get that debt paid off.
Fifth, cut back on your spending. There are many ways to cut back on spending. Most people have many unnecessary spending habits that they can quit. Unless it is imperative to living, you must cut back on those unnecessary spending areas until you get your debt under control.
Sixth, keep tithing. You are not going to get out of debt by robbing from God. You can always afford to tithe, which is 10% of your income, because God expects that to be the first debt you pay. God always rewards you for tithing; robbing Him of your tithe is no way to get His financial blessings on your life. You will have a better chance of getting out of debt by staying in good favor with God by tithing.