“…Anyone who borrows is a slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)
I’ve always been rather fanatical about keeping track of our family finances. We have a detailed monthly budget that we usually stick to. We update and balance our checkbook regularly—often each day. We use credit cards, but always pay them off the same day as the purchase. Yet, twice I’ve had a problem with one store credit card. Both times I forgot to follow my “pay it off immediately” rule and, for some reason, I never received their emailed monthly statement. Getting late notices (somehow those managed to reach me) and knowing how our credit score will be affected is driving me crazy. This store has me at their mercy.
This reminded me of a story I read about a handyman who had been called out to a millionaire’s mansion to refinish the floors. The rich man’s wife said, “Be especially careful with this dining room table. It goes back to Louis XVI. The handyman replied, “That’s nothing. If I don’t make a payment by next Friday, my whole living room set goes back to the furniture store.”
It’s been said that the average person today drives a bank-finances car, over a bond-financed road, on gasoline they bought with a credit card, to a department store to open another charge account, so they can fill their house that’s mortgaged for thirty years to the bank, with furniture purchased on an installment plan.
People seem to be divided into three categories: the “haves”; the “have-nots”; and the “have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves.” It’s not wrong to borrow money. It’s just wrong to put yourself in a position where you cannot repay it. According to Psalm 37:21, “The wicked borrow and do not repay.” And for New Englanders (and everyone else), that would be “wicked” bad.