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Devotionals

Breaking the Cycle of Christian Shaming Regarding Debt

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828ministries.com H3'ed 2/20/18
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Debt would not occur if we budgeted, using self-discipline and delayed gratification

How arrogantly cruel to make such assumptions about people. Are all of these potentially true about an individual? Absolutely but to smear everyone in debt with the same brush of self-loathing is despicable. People run into life every single moment of every single day. Sometimes you do budget well, have self-discipline, and do not spend frivolously yet still the diagnosis means those plans are now moot. In the mind of Jared Laskey however everyone is just charging trips to Disneyland because they cannot delay their gratification.

"I want to be clear that credit card debt is not spiritual warfare. Credit card debt is overusing unsecured consumer debt by using the card. It is financial mismanagement and overspending which is not wise." -- Jared Laskey

Well, let me be clear then. This is a broad general assumption that does not take individual life circumstances into account. If someone chooses to charge a new car when they do not need one and cannot afford it, I agree but the inference here is not that at all. It also infers motive where one cannot know. It seeks to shame based on the existence of debt, not the reason why. In every case debt is related to financial mismanagement and overspending? Nonsense! Most cases are simply a matter of having little choice and while most enter into debt with the intent to pay back, life often has more to say than we bargained for. When God set up the civil system for Israel He realized these truths when He allowed every seven years for the forgiveness of all debts in Deuteronomy 15. Why do Christian leaders have less compassion?

"The Lord's will for believers is that they are the lender and not the borrower (Prov. 22:7). Some Bible translations say the borrower is slave to the lender, so the lender is free. If we are burdened with debt, we carry around a dark cloud of uncertainty, shame, guilt and fear among other emotions. Our thoughts are not at peace. Debt is not God's desire for us." -- Jared Laskey

Proverbs 22:7 says absolutely nothing about God's will. Of course it is true that the borrower is in servitude to the lender but the shame, guilt and fear come from people like Laskey who refuse to see why someone ends up in such situations. His conclusion that it is not God's desire for us to be in debt is his personal view, not one taken from Scripture. His solution is to simply never charge anything, which is equally unsupported. Is it most desirous to never have any debt? Sure but life sometimes happens beloved.

"God's desire is His will. And His will is written in the Scripture showing us how to properly manage and steward finances. If we are faithful in the small things, God will give us more responsibility and our resources will multiply while we are promoted due to our faithfulness (Luke 16:10)." -- Jared Laskey

The Luke verse is taken from the Parable of the Dishonest Manager and Laskey ignores the punch line which is we cannot serve both God and money. The story was not about avoiding debt. It was about how a carnally minded manager decided to shorten the bills of debtors to his boss. The carnally minded manager praised him for shrewdness but we have the mind of Christ. The flaw in his thinking again is that any incurred debt is somehow being unfaithful and that is not necessarily the case. It is once again money centric instead of examining each case on the merits. According to this theology, someone who was a believer, church attender and even a giver but hit a wall due an unexpected illness of their child that forced bankruptcy is somehow unfaithful, will not be given more, and unwise. The man who worked 30 years only to be forced out by his company and spent years finding a new job because of age discrimination that resulted in his bankruptcy was just financially mismanaging God's resources. It is devoid of humility. It is devoid of mercy. In short, this approach is devoid of Christ.

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