Friday, December 30, 2011

Most Christians Are Possessed And They Don't Even Know It

A couple of days before the new year and the reality of the Christmas season is setting in on some people who are receiving their first bills. Unfortunately too many of us didn't follow our plan, if we had a plan in the first place. Unfortunately too many of us rely on credit, living far beyond our means. Unfortunately there are too many of us who are feeling like the psalmist as the bills come rolling in:

Save me, O God, 
   for the waters have come up to my neck. 
I sink in the miry depths, 
   where there is no foothold. 
I have come into the deep waters; 
   the floods engulf me. 
I am worn out calling for help; 
   my throat is parched. 
My eyes fail, 
   looking for my God. (Psalm 69:1-3)

The question we should ask ourselves is, who is our god, because it certainly does not appear to be Jesus. If it is then we seem to turn our back on him during the Christmas season.

I am not judging any of you here because the vast majority of us are in the same place. I have no credit available to me but I am sure that if I did I would have used it. I managed to live within my means this Christmas but only because I was forced to. But what we are really saying as we rack up the credit is: "Daddy you are not a good provider."

I know a number of you are going to take exception to that. You will say that credit is necessary for cars and houses, that you need to use a credit card to establish your credit. Yes, I understand and agree to all that but it is only a theory. In reality we are owned by the credit card companies. A few people of exception pay the balance off at the end of each month but the large majority of us carry a balance from month to month. Come on, be honest here. If we carry a balance we are not living within our means which means we are saying to our Father: "You are not a good provider", because we have to go beyond what he has supplied us with. I really believe that we need to say with the psalmist:

You know my folly, O God;
   my guilt is not hidden from you.
May those who hope in you
   not be disgraced because of me,
   O Lord, the LORD Almighty;
may those who seek you
   not be put to shame because of me,
   O God of Israel.
(Psalm 69:5-6)

It is wrong of us to live this way. It  destroys our witness and robs God of his glory. If you are going to make any resolutions for the new year, one of the ones near the top should be to become satisfied with God's provision; to live within your means. You can get help with this if your "god" has you suppressed. There are credit experts that can exercise that demon right out of you. They can help you get the thing under control and then vanquished from your life. The motivation should not be to save money but because you recognize that you are robbing God of his glory. Your motivation should be love and if it is then I am sure you will be able to beat this thing.

For those of you who do not consider this problem with credit a spiritual matter, I leave you with the apostle Paul's instructions to his friend Timothy:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:6-10)

Do something about this before it destroys you and your faith.

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1 comment:

Philip said...

Thanks for your thoughts Paul. Contentment is such a slippery word for me, but I'd contend it's one of the foundations of the Christian faith. I'm taking a Dave Ramsey course with my wife soon...