If you’re trying to get out of debt, you’ve probably taken a good, long look at plenty of credit counseling services. You want someone whose outlook is going to line up with yours. Christian credit counseling will not only help you get out of debt; it will teach lifelong principles that will help you make better financial choices.
Tithing and Your Financial Outlook
The first ten percent is God’s. Whether or not you choose to make tithing a priority until you get out of debt is up to you–as is the ultimate choice to make that a regular part of your life. When you commit to tithing, however, it helps to change your outlook on your financial life. Giving that first ten percent to God means that you trust Him to be bigger than whatever financial struggles may come your way. Sometimes, it’s a huge step of faith–but it’s also a step in the right direction.
Understanding the Principle of Financial Stewardship
We are stewards of our finances, not owners. One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing how they are going to spend their money is believing that it is “theirs.” By changing how you look at your money–as money that you have been given by God to help manage your family and make contributions to the world around you–you start to have a different view of how your money should really be used. Ultimately, that makes it easier to stay out of debt.
Living within Your Means
Learn to live with what you have. The “American Dream” teaches that you should have whatever you want, whenever you want it–and sometimes, that’s just not feasible. Whatever your income level is, you have to learn to live within it. True satisfaction doesn’t come from material things; it comes from the peace that only God can bring–and that peace is much greater when you don’t have debt constantly hanging over your head. Learning to live with what you have doesn’t mean that you can’t keep moving forward in life; it just means that when it comes to material things, you are content with what you already possess rather than constantly craving the newest purchase.
Saving for the Future
Put money toward your future. Once you are out of debt, the money that you’ve been putting toward paying down those bills can now be used for other purposes. What would it mean, in your life, if you started thinking about putting some of that money toward your future? Does it mean a savings account? An increase in the money going to your 401k plan? A college savings account for your children? By helping to provide for your future, you’re helping to prevent yourself from going to debt all over again when unexpected expenses (or known future expenses) arrive.
For many people, money is one of the hardest things to turn over to God. You work for it; that makes it yours, and you’re reluctant to let go of it. By taking a few simple steps, however, you can start to develop lifelong habits that will make your money much easier to manage.
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