Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge
or puts up security for debts;
if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you. Proverbs 22:26-27
I read recently that the average American family has $117,000 in consumer debt – not including mortgage debt. $117 thousand. The average household income is $43,000. That means that on average in America, people owe almost 3x as much as they can make in a year. My friends, that is mind-blowing!
I wish I could go back in time and apply the knowledge from this proverb a little more strictly. Financial burdens can weigh you down. They can affect your mental well-being, your health and your relationships. When you have the constant thought of debt hanging over you, it is hard to focus on giving your all to God. My family is not completely debt-free, but we are working toward it. If you have not gone through Dave Ramsey’s program or at least read his book, I encourage you to do so. Even if budgeting seems scary, there is a lot of wisdom in what he preaches.
The bottom line? Don’t spend more than you make. If you’ve already done that, look for ways to pinch pennies and pay back the debt as quick as possible. Make the choice every day to live within your means. It’s the way God wants us to live.