Using credit may be a sin. I suspect that got your attention. It pains me to say it as much as it pains me to hear it. The use of credit can easily become a sin. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” It doesn’t take a theological expert to see that credit is a slippery slope that can lead into sin quite easily. As Christians we are called to serve only one person and that is not the lender.
I was watching Fox News last week and the lady reporter was interviewing Dave Ramsey regarding the stimulus plan that was being heaved on the American people. Naturally the discussion got around to Dave’s favorite topic of credit cards and how dangerous their use can be. The reporter was either not listening or couldn’t fathom what Dave was saying when it came to not using credit cards for any purpose. He is a stickler when it comes to credit cards and he is unforgiving an unbending on his teaching that a person should never use a credit card. This is such a foreign idea for us in the United States. Your grandparents, depending on your age, may have lived their entire life without ever using one and they seemed to do ok. What happened to us?
Let me just encourage you to live simpler lives. Let me encourage you to do more with less. Let me challenge you to give up your materialistic lifestyle for just a little while so that you can taste and see that it is good.
I am 41 years old and have been married for nearly seven years. We still do not have night stands in our bedroom. I use a plastic table and my wife uses a chair from the dining room. We do not have a bedroom suite. We have walls in our house that are finally getting repaired this week because it wasn’t a spending priority for us. We have lived in this house for more than 2.5 years. We do have a mortgage but we could easily pay it on one salary. We both drive cars that have salvage titles. Our stuff is paid for and when we buy more stuff we only buy it when we can actually pay for it. We rarely use credit cards and if we do then we are one of those “one-out-of-ten” Americans that actually pay them off monthly or before the interest and payments kick in to effect. If we use credit it is because we are “using” credit and not the other way around. We work very hard to not allow “credit” to “use” us.
I tell you these things not because I want to elevate myself to some esteemed position or tell you how good I am. I tell you these things because it is important for you to know that it is possible to live without debt. It is possible to live paying cash. It is possible to live without brand new stuff. The fact is I enjoy buying your “stuff” for pennies on the dollar when you sell it. Ok, I admit, that was kind of mean. Anyway, it is possible for you to live without being a slave to the lender. God desires that you not be enslaved by anything or anyone. It is possible for you to live that way. The government may tell you otherwise. The banks may tell you otherwise. The people at Experian, Trans Union, Equifax and FICO may tell you otherwise, but they have a vested interest in you staying in debt. Dave Ramsey says: “live like no one else so that you can live like no one else.” I like that advice better.