“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. – Matthew 7:24-25
There is no shortage of how-to guidance available to anyone interested in managing money well. So, why is it that the average household saves so little, carries so much debt, and lives under so much stress? It’s because how-to information alone is not enough. If we are to do the right thing with money we need a compelling reason why to. We need to understand our purpose and identity.
This is important for anyone desiring to manage money well, but as we wrap up our series on getting out of debt, it is especially important for those who want to stay out of debt forever.
Our culture would have us believe that life is all about us, that money and things bring happiness, and that no matter how much we have, we need more. In a quest to keep us on the want-buy-want-some-more treadmill, our culture has done a brilliant job of branding—and I’m not talking about the branding of stuff; I’m talking about the branding of us! Ever since the Industrial Revolution we have been conditioned to think of ourselves as consumers, who, by definition, are people who use stuff up, squander, and spend wastefully.
When we buy into all that we settle for far too little. Thankfully, we were not made to be consumers. We were made to be wise builders, whose purposes are to build into our relationship with Christ, build into our relationships with others, and build lives of meaningful contribution. When our use of money becomes an expression of our God-given identity and purposes, it simply makes no sense to carry a balance on our credit cards or to finance cars.
Want to stay out of debt? First and foremost, remember who God made you to be.