Q: I hate to admit this, but we’re still paying off our credit card bills from last Christmas. Not only that, but I just know we’ll overspend again this year and get into an even deeper hole. We just can’t seem to make any progress. What’s wrong with us? —P.D.
A: Christmas is still many months away, of course, but one reason I wanted to reprint your email is because it’s not too early for people to begin planning ahead so they don’t end up in the same situation you’re facing. Your debt is like a heavy chain around your ankles, and the worst thing you can do is keep adding to it.
What should you do? On a practical level, any financial adviser would probably tell you the same thing I would: decrease your debts, and decrease your spending. Both are essential; if you do one without doing the other, your problems will only continue (or get worse). The Bible wisely tells us to “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (Romans 13:8).
But how we use (or misuse) our money is more than a practical matter, it’s also a spiritual issue. The issue is this: what place do things have in our lives? Do we love things more than we love God? Have we allowed things to crowd out our God-given responsibility to use our money wisely and for the good of others?
Only you can answer this, of course, but I urge you to put Christ first in your lives. Then ask him to help you with your finances. Plan ahead by making a realistic budget for the holiday season, and stick with it. Then make it your goal to honor Christ with your money, now, and always.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.