“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Proverbs 22:7
The practical wisdom found in Proverbs, if diligently followed, can save us from pain and anguish. This is why I have tried to regularly incorporate the reading of Proverbs into my morning quiet times for decades.
A Christian’s faith should not only affect the spiritual aspect of their being, but also the practical side of their daily lives. We should not be accused of “being so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.”
Money is a major part of this practical dimension of a person’s life. As this Proverb teaches, money is something that we should be the master of and never the master to.
One sign that you are a slave to money is debt; how much debt you owe determines the degree of this voluntary servitude. The greater the debt, the tighter the chains that hold you in bondage.
Romans 13: 8 (a) says “owe nothing to anyone except to love one another…” (NASB). This verse, coupled with Proverbs 22:7, have been the greatest influences in guiding and shaping my financial life. Effectively, they sum up my philosophy on how I decide to spend–or not spend–my money.
If at all possible, I try to avoid debt in every form, from credit card debt to mortgages. Though at one time in my life I used credit (debt) to purchase a home and a new truck, I soon sold the former and paid off the latter. I have been debt free for years.
I abhor paying bank’s interest and fees. I pay off my credit card bills in full every month, only carrying a balance on those that do not charge me interest until the promotional period ends. These are paid in full before the promotion ends.
Thankfully, I have no mortgage debt or car payments, discipling myself to live beneath my means. This translates into freedom which I value far above slavery. I don’t live in a fancy house, but at least I can call this humble abode my own.
We often speak of the power of God’s Word, of its supernatural ability to transform our lives. As I mentioned above, we often fail to understand that this transformation should not only reach into the spiritual, but also the practical aspects of our lives.
The power of Jesus is able to deliver us not only from our bondage to sin (lust, greed, hatred, lying, etc.)–the spiritual aspect of our salvation–but also from the practical aspect of the poor choices we make in life, such as debt.
This is why reading and meditating on Proverbs can transform the practical, every day, nuts and bolts aspect of our lives. I encourage you to mine its rich ore on a regular basis.