To Debt or Not To Debt

Our journey shared for your benefit

We just had some friends tell us that God has been dealing with them about getting out of debt and they asked us to elaborate a bit on this subject. We love questions and comments! Keep ’em coming!

Here’s a coffee… homemade, delicious and, since we’re talking about money… frugal!┬á­čśë Have a chair! Make yourself at home.

Wordly Wisdom VS Godly Wisdom

We have come on a long journey in learning about finances. We got advice from all different schools of thought, such as:

  • Consumer debt is good… it keeps the economy going
  • Some debt is good, some is bad.
  • It’s not about what you can afford as long as you can make the minimum monthly payment.
  • Sometimes you need to get in debt in order to make money.
  • Debt is taboo, and if you do it, you’re not spiritual.
  • Just take a leap of faith… buy it on credit and then let God pay for it miraculously.
  • Let me get into debt in order to help you get xyz…

These are just a few of the things we have heard over the years. Can I just say? Every precious lesson we’ve learned has come at a great price to the body of Christ. What would we be able to accomplish at this point for His kingdom if we had engaged with God’s design from the beginning? So please, take the time to chew on some of these thoughts so you can avoid some of the same mistakes and improve upon our experience!

First of all, I was brought up to be diligent at keeping up with money. To work, save up and then buy things cash. To budget, stick to it and live below my means. Ummmmm, Brad was NOT. ­čĄô

So when we got married, I married Brad and his debt. We paid it off, stuck to the great principles I brought to our marriage and we are now millionaires.

Yeah, right!

If only it were that easy.

How We Started Feeling Comfortable With Debt

We started getting into debt when cars would break down or we would travel and spend a little extra than we imagined, and we had a couple of Christmases where we splurged a little, plus, we ate out a few times too many. Little emergencies. Big emergencies. They all added up!

You know? It wasn’t like we were grossly overspending and living “high on the hog! And yet we found ourselves wanting to move to the mission field with about $8k worth of debt that had come “a little at a time”.┬á The little foxes spoil the vine…

We moved to the mission field; and God helped us pay it all off after about 2 years. He’s so faithful! What a relief! Free again! Sigh!

But then, we needed a car, so we financed it…we didn’t want to wait. We deserved a nice ride like everyone else we worked with, and as long as we could afford the payments, we were good! (That was the advice we got).

We became comfortable with financing things, it became the norm.

After all, this wasn’t consumer debt… the kind you have nothing to show for when you finally finish paying it off. We didn’t know to ask “Why do we do what we do?” yet.

When Ignorance Became Our Downfall

After a few years, we moved to Canada and stepped into a completely different level of debt thinking. Real estate was so expensive! Food, fuel, clothes! All of these were higher than we were used to. Vancouver is ranked 3rd most expensive city to live in the world!

So, in order to get our own house, a well-meaning family member offered to lend us the down payment. Except they got the money through a line of credit. And they said “you can just pay me the monthly interest. Once you sell the house, you pay this off first and we’re all good”. That sounds good, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong!

 So now we owed $55 thousand just so we could get a town home and have the prestige of being a home owner. The funny thing is, people started respecting us more because of it. We think this is upside down!

The debtor is slave to the lender. That’s part of God’s design. So now, instead of being a well-meaning family member, we were in a completely different relationship along with all the mess it comes with!

Then, we had a falling out with this family member and they called in the debt immediately. Boom! Just like that we were in a huge pickle.

You might be shaking your head, calling us naive, inexperienced, or just plain dumb. And we would have to agree.  But to us, it was just part of the debt game.

We had become comfortable financing different aspects of our life and didn’t realize the rabbit hole we were starting down.

All those things I wrote at the top, we believed at one time or another. I’ll leave you hanging here, in the depths of despair, and say To Be Continued… because next time, I’ll talk about what God did to help us get from the worst financial situation we had ever been in, to the freedom we enjoy today.

Question: What part of our story is already resonating with something you’ve done, thinking it was a good thing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Hi! I'm Celina. Happily married to Brad and the blessed Mama of 6. The love Jesus has shown me has revolutionized my life so I passionately sing, write and chat with friends new and old about His Design for our lives. We have lived and ministered in 4 countries and love the adventure of faith God has us on!