Biblical Stewardship-Debt part 4 How to get out of it

pic 17Memory verse: Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything.  1 Chronicles 29:11

Memory verse 2: “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender” Proverbs 22:7

 

Lets start off with an interesting story found in 2 Kings

Elisha Helps a Poor Widow

One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”

“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.

And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”

So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim!

“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

This story tells of a widow and how she got herself out of debt. Now this is clearly not the normal way anyone would get out of financial trouble, but, as I mentioned before, whenever God places a story in His Word, there must be some kind of lesson or principle to be learned. Let’s look closely at some of the lessons God is trying to tell us in these passages.

First, we see the widow approached Elisha for help. There is a critical principle here that most people fail to do. Seek people for wise, godly counsel. Pride gets in our way and will often lead to making hasty or wrong choices. A second opinion is always a good practice for big decisions.

Second, use whatever assets you already have. Do you have things that could earn you an income, do you have things you could sell to reduce your debt, can you downsize,  lifestyle changes (like cooking instead of always eating out, for example) and etc…

Third, involve the entire family. This is all part of teaching our kids how to handle money. Seeing mom and dad do whatever they have to to get out of debt and provide a living, and getting to help and be involved, there can be no better way to teach. Be honest with them, without scaring them.

Seeking counsel, using your assets and teaching your kids are just three of the things that are involved in good financial management. Now let’s look at the plan to get out of debt, and begin to shape what your plan will be. You will notice we have begun a few of these steps.

HOW TO GET OUT OF DEBT

  1. Pray about it
  2. You must establish a written budget
  3. List your assets-everything you own. Then determine if should sell any assets and use that money toward debt reduction
  4. List your liabilities-everything you owe
  5. Establish a debt repayment schedule- this will help decide which debts to pay off first. The decision will be based on two factors: the size of the debts and the interest rate charged.
  6. Consider earning additional income if needed
  7. Accumulate no new debt
  8. Consider a radical change in your lifestyle
  9. Never give up!

Our goal by the end of this course is to be able to write a budget and have a solid plan in place to eliminate your debt.

Practical homework:

Very simple today, add up all your sources of income and get a total. This is a total of take home pay.  Include all sources-paycheques, family allowance, pensions, etc..  Save this total for our next step. Make sure the homework from the previous days are done also.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for leading us and having a plan for each and every one of us. Show us the way Lord. Amen.

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