Billy Graham Warns Believers About Getting Into Debt

Debt is often a sign of a deeper problem.
Debt is often a sign of a deeper problem. (Sean MacEntee/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Famed evangelist Billy Graham warned believers against jumping into debt by standing on New Testament wisdom.  

Graham responded to a reader in a question-and-answer column:  

"We're deep in debt because of our credit cards, and I don't think we'll ever get out. I guess it's just too easy to buy something with a card instead of digging up the cash. Please warn people about the dangers of debt, because it can really mess up your life. It sure has ours," the reader pleaded.  

However, avoiding debt is not just about embracing a healthy financial portfolio, Graham says.  

Thank you for your warning, and I hope many will heed it—because you're right: debt can be like a millstone around your neck. No wonder the Bible warns us against excessive debt, and tells us to "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another" (Romans 13:8).
But debt is often a sign of a deeper problem—and that is our desire for the things that money can buy. The Bible has a word for this: greed. That's not a very pretty word, and we even may react against labeling ourselves as greedy. But in reality isn't that what we really are, when we desire things we can't afford or spend money on pleasures that won't last? The Bible warns, "The greedy bring ruin to their households" (Proverbs 15:27).
What should you do? First, turn to Jesus Christ and make Him—not things or money—your priority in life. When Christ is first, our desire for things or pleasures or impressing others begins to fade. Open your heart and life to Him today.
Then ask God to help you deal with your debts in a practical way. Get a realistic budget, and stick to it. Devise a plan to pay back your debts, and if necessary cut up your credit cards or lock them away. Then set a date for paying off your debts, and every payday set aside what you'll need to reach it.

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