Debt Free Christmas
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? …He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15:1 & 5
My wife loves Christmas. I was the one who worked to pay for Christmases past. It was not that I was a Scrooge, but I have seen the joy of giving to those loved stretched out in payments until August of the following year. Perhaps that has happened to some of you. Personally I think it is a bit much to overextend oneself to the heat of the merchandisers of Christmas. When I was a boy we didn’t have a whole lot, but I had some great Christmases built around doing things together: going to special church services; singing Christmas Carols to the community and drinking hot cocoa at the church afterwards.
Many people make debt at Christmas they spend all year paying for. I have read articles about how people will spend and get into debt at this time of year. Recently I read a piece about Australian families turning to church financial counselors because of unmanageable debt. The numbers are growing there as well as in the U.S.A. I am amazed at how much debt people build up on credit cards, and how many credit cards they have. Debt builds up till people start refinancing their homes to get the calls from bill collectors to cease. I ask you, does this type of thing honor the Lord? Is it any kind of appropriate way to celebrate His birth?
In the first century B.C. the philosopher Publilius Syrus observed “Debt is the slavery of the free.” Now if this is true for pagans how much more relevant should this be to Christians? Consumers are being drawn further into debt by increased opportunities for borrowing, and Christians are right in there amongst the debtors. Many people who can barely service their debt are in so deep they will be paying on it for thirty or forty years if all they ever can do is make minimum payments. I don’t think buying gifts people will not use and getting children too many toys is the way to have the real spirit of Christmas. How about you?
Michael L. Ford, Th.D.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113