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Christian Advice:
Is Debt management a problem?

Debt management is one of the biggest problems that we can face when dealing with money. Mostly it is because we continue to spend more money than we have. At other times, it may be due to the wrong actions of others. Debt management issues always bring much stress and worry.

Money also causes many temptations; sometimes when we are lacking money, but other times even when we have enough. We can be tempted to steal money from our place of work. Or to take bribes. Or to cheat the tax system. Some people may even consider selling their own bodies. But what may seem a small thing to start with, will make it easier to take more next time. It is a down-hill slide.

'Peer pressure' also causes us to want more money. We feel that if others - our 'peers' - have things, we are under pressure to have them also, so that we do not seem different. This is equally true in poor societies as well as rich ones. And every day, we see adverts telling us that we can only find happiness through buying that new material thing.

Gambling in the hope of more money is a big problem in many societies. Today, most countries have a National Lottery. Everyone would rather hope for the 'big one' rather than setting up a sound debt management plan. Gambling is like a drug - it is addictive. It spoils lives:

Recently a law and accountancy student was sent to prison for 10 months, for stealing $1500 from the post office where he worked part-time. The money was to pay for his gambling addiction. Now his hope of becoming a lawyer or accountant is finished. - He has considered suicide.

There are ways to handle money sensibly. Here are some ideas:

Sit down, and write down the money you spend on different things, over a week. It will surprise you.

- If possible, only buy on a cash basis - don't borrow money with a loan or credit card.

- If you are considering buying something, wait for some days and
check prices elsewhere!

- Buy things at the end of their season, when they may be cheaper.

- Learn to mend things to make them last longer.

- Use a shopping list, so that you do not buy extra things you do not need. (This is called 'impulse buying'!)

- Look for special cheap offers.

- Don't believe what advertisements tell you!

- Share things with your friends.

You may feel that these comments don't help you. You may be in serious debt. Money may be causing you worry, even feelings of suicide.

Is there a revolutionary way to deal with the whole problem of money? Yes! God can help you because He cares for you.

In the New Testament part of the Bible, Jesus said:

"So, I tell you this. Do not be troubled about what you will eat or drink to keep alive. Do not be troubled about what you will wear on your body. Life itself is worth more than food, and the body is worth more than clothes. Look at the birds that fly in the air. They do not plant or cut or keep any food. Yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not worth more than birds?"   Matthew 6:25-26

If you turn your life over to God, He can look after every part of your life, including finance. He promises to do this, for those who belong to Him.

"My God will supply all your needs through his riches in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

This does not mean God will make you rich. It does not mean that He will give His children (those who are really following Him) what they want. What they 'want' is not the same as what they 'need'!

With your life in His hands, you can actually receive a new way of living. Life, money, everything, will seem different. If you belong to God, then everything you have should be treated as His, not yours. And you will find that you no longer try to look for happiness in money and possessions.

Need Spiritual Help?
Steps to Peace with God, click here

- Don't hide from it, and pretend it is not happening.
- Pray to God.
- Transfer everything you own to God in your mind.
- Establish a debt management program.
- Look at your list of assets (things that you own).
- Look at your list of debts.
- Seek out debt consolidation help.
- Seek honest ways of finding extra income.
- Do not build up new debt.
- Learn to be happy and content with what you have.
- Consider a change of lifestyle.
- Practice good money management and saving.
- Give money to charity, to help others.
- Put others first.
- Practice time management.
- Seek advice - talk to someone that you can trust.
- Don't give up.

So if money or debt management is a problem for you, please don't give up. There are answers, and most of all, you do not need to go through the problem alone any more. We have debt counselors that are ready to offer you free help in setting up a debt management program.

Just to finish - 4 things to think about
Here are two stories, and two statements. Two are recent, one was told 2000 years ago, and the other was written 2700 years ago. Guess which was written when.

There is a story of a poor man, who had just enough money to support himself in the simplest way. He spent his days helping others. He was once talking to a very rich man, who spent all his waking hours working in his business to make money.

"I am richer than you are," commented the poor man.

"How can you say that," the millionaire asked.

"Well," replied the poor man, "I have as much as I want, and you have not."


Then he told them a story.
He said, "A rich man had a farm. The things that grew on it were many. He said to himself, 'What will I do? I have no place to keep all the food I have grown.' So he said, 'This is what I will do. I will break down my storehouses and build bigger ones. I will keep in them all the food and everything I have. Then I will say to myself, 'Man, you have much in your storehouses for many years. Rest now. Eat, drink, and have a good time'. But God said to him, 'You are a fool! Tonight you will die. Then who will have all the things you have kept for yourself?' So anyone who keeps things for himself is not rich in the way God wants him to be rich."


The Lord says:

Come, everyone who is thirsty - here is water!
Come, you that have no money - buy corn and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk - it will cost you nothing!
Why spend money on what does not satisfy?
Why spend your wages and still be hungry?
Listen to me and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all.

"Contentment isn't getting what we want,
but rather enjoying what we've already got."

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