Practical, Bible-based money management advice, tools and techniques





Getting out of debt God's way not only is possible, but highly desirable. God's way out of debt produces lasting debt relief. Getting out of debt under God's guidance begins with a personal relationship with Jesus our Messiah, and it can be swift. However, most likely it will be protracted. When you allow God to lead you out of debt, you will grasp lifestyle changes you need; you will learn to lean on God for your daily sustenance, and you will build a solid foundation for the future. We pray as you read this page you will let God guide you out of debt his way and in his time. By God's grace, you will experience the love, joy, grace, and mercy of Jesus our Messiah.

God Has No Debts

God owns everything and never needs financial debts. If you are in debt, it's yours, not his. However, Jesus will guide you to get out of debt his way; the stress-free way. Believe with your pocketbook that Jesus owns everything and has promised to take care of your needs. As well, believe that nobody’s circumstance is too big for Jesus. If you want to get out of debt God's way, start today to believe Jesus and be ready to accept your circumstance, especially the effects of earlier decisions that resulted in your debt.

Jesus might not remove your financial debt in your timeframe, but He will remove the monetary debt burden today; just ask Him. Once the financial debt burden lifts, you will be able to look away from your circumstances and to Him. Then you will be ready to get out of debt God's way.

Christian Way Out Of Debt or Christian Debt Removal

Many folks refer to this process of depending on God to guide them out of debt as Christian debt management. A key question for you to answer now is this: do you focus on Christian debt management or Christian debt removal? Many folks opt for the debt management path. They do not realize that this way out accepts that they will be in debt for a long time, and accepts debt as inevitable. These folks focus on financial engineering: loan consolidation, refinancing, re mortgaging, and so on. That's why I suggest that the Christian debt management approach will keep folks in bondage to financial institutions.

Christian debt management focuses on the debt instead of on your behavior. It applies Christian beliefs such as excluding bankruptcy as an option, and honoring all legitimate debts. Any form of debt management approach, Christian or otherwise, suggests that debt is manageable, when it is not; it is your behavior you must manage. Debt management epitomizes the victim mentality, which deflects responsibility from you to financial institutions. This route leads to bondage.

On the other hand, the Christian debt removal path teaches that the best debt is no debt. Christian debt removal entails accepting responsibility for all debts, and determining to make lifestyle changes to lower spending. Strive to focus on Christian debt removal by seeking God's way to get out of debt.

Vanishing Dollars

The first step to getting out of debt God's way is to remove the financial debt burden; transfer it to Jesus. Then, the financial stress will go and you will be able to focus on Jesus to hear His solutions to work off the financial debt that you must keep. To get out of debt God's way, do you understand you can and should separate the financial debt from the emotional, mental, psychological, and sometimes physical debt burden? This is the first goal of the getting out of debt God's way: giving Jesus the financial debt burden. Only then will you be able to move to the next step to solve the case of the vanishing dollars. As you solve this case, Jesus will help you develop right ABCs about money.

If you are ready to surrender all to Jesus the Messiah, probably being in debt is the best place to be. It will not feel this way, but in hindsight, you will see God’s hands and will marvel at His greatness. But beware; you need patience. Normally folks get in debt slowly, so it’s reasonable to expect getting out debt God's way will be slow. Slow down; don’t miss lessons God will teach you as He guides you through the debt removal procedure.

At this stage, the goal for an individual or couple is to learn where dollars went, how they got there, and then to set up a procedure to prevent a recurrence. In essence, you want to answer these three questions:

What did I buy?

What procedure did I follow before buying?

How can I prevent a repeat of getting into debt?

Getting out of debt God's way is fact-finding, not finger pointing. It needs husband and wife’s commitment. You don’t need to know why you spent funds. Each of us has a good reason he or she did it—don’t go there, especially couples—please don’t camp here.

These preconditions must exist to get out of Debt God's way. Ask Jesus to help you:

Focus on changing you rather than changing your condition or other folks. You need to enter this challenge willing to learn and to change so you might see clearly God’s best.

Accept your condition. If you don’t, you won’t be able to see opportunities and blessings God prepared for the way out. You don’t want God to lift your condition; rather, you want Him to guide you through them. That’s how you will learn. Think about this.

Do not be a victim. Many folks blame others, rather than accepting their responsibility as they drifted in debt. Usually folks get in debt because they lacked patience, faith, were too proud to seek help, were greedy, or a combination.

Try to see your condition as Jesus sees it. After you accept where you are, ask Jesus to show you the lessons He prepared for your growth. Ask Him to let you see and hear Him clearly.

Ready, Set, Go Out of debt God's Way

As you continue the path to get out of debt God's way, focus on understanding how you got into debt, and so increase the probability of preventing a recurrence of your earlier decisions that led to your debt. Ideally, couples should work together as one unit as they take this journey. However, husband and wife do not grow at the same rate, so each family must decide how it will approach solving this case. Here is my suggested approach to continue the journey to get out of debt God's way:

Get a special notebook and label it, the Case of the Vanishing Dollars.

Set a time—maximum one month—to discover how, not why, you got in debt. A key question will be this: before spending, what decision procedure did I follow?

Review sequentially, your spiritual life, ABCs, and financial affairs.

After each stage, write a one-sentence conclusion for that phase. After all three stages, list main categories where funds went, and then answer this question with yes, or no: Did I spend most of the funds on needed items according to Matthew 6:33?

Review Your Spiritual Life

Prayerfully think about your present and recent spiritual life by asking: Has my spiritual life been FLAT? This is not a mechanical exercise; do it prayerfully, earnestly seeking to hear from God. Each person should answer these personal questions:

Have I been Feeding on Jesus’ Words? (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Have I been Listening to His voice? (Luke 10:38-41).

Have I been Away from church or home fellowship, and Bible study? (Acts 2:41-44)

Have I been Talking to Jesus regularly? (Matthew 11:28- 29; 21:22; Psalm 5:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Before moving to the next section of the get out of debt God's way journey, ABCs, and after prayer and reflection, as God shows you, write a one-sentence conclusion about your spiritual life. Ask the Lord to show you adjustments you need.

Review Your ABCs

In this section of the get out of debt God's way path, you will get to the heart of your beliefs and practices. You act based on your beliefs. You choose based on your beliefs, your worldview. Again, each person should answer these personal questions:

What was my Attitude toward money?

Did I, do I, accept my stewardship responsibilities? Did I, do I understand I am Jesus’ manager and should seek His guidance before I spend? Did I, do I understand I can’t be God’s manager unless I know Him intimately?

How did I Behave during the period?

Did my Behaviour suggest I understand implications of God’s ownership and my stewardship of money? Did I use a budget or spending plan? Did I respond to advertising and easy credit terms? Did I spend for needs that could not wait? Did I practice these essential words, wait, not now!

How did I Choose to spend?

What decision procedure did I follow before spending? What were main spending drivers? What caused me to spend each time? Did I spend for emotional relief? Did I pray before spending? Did I spend impulsively?

Before moving to the stage of your get out of debt God's way journey, finances, and after prayer and reflection, write a one-sentence conclusion about your ABCs and ask God to show you areas needing attention.

Examine Your GRIP on Finances

Did I have a GRIP on my finances? That's the question to answer in this phase. This section needs just as much soul searching as earlier sections. The first and crucial question is this:

Did I work with Goals? Whose goals; mine or God's? Ask the Lord to show you challenges you face in this area.

Once you have settled the goal issue, next Review the past six months’ spending to find out where funds went. If you don’t have records such as bills, check stubs, credit card and bank statements, walk through the house and list items bought recently. Use estimated prices if you don’t have actuals.

Another important issue is the source of recent funds. Where did I get funds to buy stuff during these six months? Did I spend funds I anticipated getting, but did not not receive? Often, this happens.

The third step is to Investigate features of all loans to learn your responsibility? These questions two will be helpful:

Do I know the annual percentage cost of each loan? Using present payment rates, do I know when I might repay each loan?

Do I know a credit card is not a source of financing, and I should use it only when funds are in the bank and I can pay the full balance?

The fourth step looks at asks this question: Do I have Plans in place to carry out God’s goals? For example, did I work with a financial plan and budget?

After your review of this final section of the get out of debt God's way journey, you should know whether you had a grip on your finances. Write one sentence about your learning in this section and ask the Lord to show you needed changes.

Identify Needed Lifestyle Changes

Your review will show you changes you should implement. Certainly, you will have to change your lifestyle as you bear effects of poor choices that led to your debts. Probably the most important change is to accept that you can't manage money, and you are responsible for your debts. You decided to spend. Nobody forced you. You chose, and so, you must learn to identify attitude and behavior changes you must implement. If you do not, you will sink deeper in debt. After accepting your responsibility for your debt, and after you decide that with God's help you will change your behavior, you will be ready proceed to the next step of working with the numbers.

Action Plan To Getting Out of Debt God's Way

You are on the path to getting out of debt God's way. After you are confident you have implemented needed lifestyle changes? Remember, without these changes you will repeat your previous errors. These specific steps might be helpful to guide you out of debt God's way:

Prepare a budget and money map to show lifestyle changes, such as less eating out. Assign responsibility for each budget category to relevant family members.

Prepare a debt repayment plan to erase loans, starting with the highest annual percentage cost loan. As the Lord leads, ask creditors to lower interest rates. But do not consolidate or restructure loans unless God shows you attitude and behavior changes you have made. Consolidation never works without these changes; indeed, without changed attitudes, it is the worst alternative because it gives you false hope. Ask the Lord to show you if you have assets you could sell to repay loans. Sell only after prayer.

Set up a spending decision procedure to avoid re-entering the debt trap, and prepare a financial plan.

After prayer and reflection, write a one-sentence conclusion about what you learned abut you in this process to get out of debt God's way. Do you accept your findings? Again I beg you, don’t rationalize why you got here. You are here; work with God to move on. As the Lord leads, confess misuse of funds; repent—decide to change your behavior—and ask God to give you a goal and plan to become debt free in His time. Meanwhile, transfer the debt burden to Jesus as He requests in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Set up accountability and reward procedures. Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable to follow God’s plan. Divide the plan in small steps to measure progress. Depend on Jesus to fulfill your needs and to see you through this and other crises. He will. Although listed last, this is important: You got in debt over a period; you will get out in time by God’s grace. Be Patient! Remember nothing is impossible for God.

Getting Out of Debt