After taking a break for the holidays I'm back with a series of posts on resolutions to start the new year. Please feel free to comment and share your own resolutions for 2012. Next week, I'll get back on the saddle for my study of the book Not a Fan. For Monday's resolution, career, click here, Tuesday's resolution, eating right, click here, Wednesday's, losing weight, click here. Please feel free to share your resolutions in the comments. There will be a post at the end of the week compiling them all.
You know the drill. Between going overboard shopping for Christmas (and eating out while doing so) and traveling to see family and friends (and taking in all the sights while there, oh and eating out even more) the plastic in your wallet got quite the workout last month. One of the great ironies of "Black Friday" after Thanksgiving is that the day after we thank God for all he has given us we rush out to buy things we don't need but feel like we do with money we don't have. So the holiday shopping spree usually follows up with the vow to be wiser the next year and try to climb out from under the mountain of debt.
I've seen numbers from $5000 to $17000 for the average credit card debt in America. I'll let you do the math to figure out what that means in payments every month. But add to that car loans, student loans, and mortgage payments and I'm willing to bet the average American church goer pays more to pay down debt than they give to their local church. Just something to think about. (especially since some stats show that 97% of American Christians do not tithe)
Some experts claimed that yesterday was the most depressing day of the year. Generally speaking, most say it is the third Monday after the New Year. Why? Because after taking however much time off for vacation, we're struggling to get back into the swing of work, getting kids to school, and so on, and oh yeah, that's when our credit card bills start showing up in the mail.
It's a noble goal to try to get debt free. My wife and I took the Financial Peace University classes from Dave Ramsey last year and we've weaned ourselves off of paying for everything with plastic. We have a little ways to go before being able to claim that we're debt free, but we're on our way.
This is a common resolution. But like previous days, I'm doing a play on words here with a spiritual emphasis. In this New Year, Jesus makes me debt free. He paid all my debt on the cross.
"But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation." (Colossians 1:22)
"For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10)
“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon [the Pharisee] replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” (Luke 7:41-43)
So if one of your resolutions this year is to be debt free, praise God, you already are!