Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Slave Nation

Slavery was outlawed in this country a very long time ago. You all know the story. But a different kind of slavery exists today. A self-imposed slavery that few of us seem willing to free ourselves from.

The Bible speaks a lot about money. Most of it isn't terribly flattering. The one I'm most drawn to is where Jesus says, "No one can serve two masters...You cannot serve both God and money." That, and when Paul says, "Let no debt remain outstanding except the continue debt to love one another."

There was a time period in my life after a Promise Keepers conference where I vowed to get rid of all my debt. And, after about two-plus years, my wife and I managed to pull it off. At least, to a degree. We had no credit card debt, and only lived (for a while) on what we took in. But we still had car payments and a house payment. I'd convinced myself, however, that those weren't really "debt", since we had, essentially, collateral.

That attitude, however, I now see as flawed. Debt is debt. And debt makes me a slave to money, no matter how much I think it doesn't. The recent recession in this country is proof of this. People are foreclosing on homes left and right, home values have dropped to levels far below what people owe. So much for "secured debt".

And these same people (myself included) are slaves to money as a result. We are forced to live where we live, fearful of losing our jobs and our homes as a result, rather than trusting in the Lord.

At one time, I figured that if we had the faith of a mustard seed, the Lord would protect us from such calamities as foreclosure. But now I realize that if I had the faith of a mustard seed and trusted in God's plan, I wouldn't have had to hope God would keep me from financial ruin. The truth is, I'm living with debt now because of my own faithlessness, my own sinfulness.

God has blessed our family, to be sure. But I can't get past the fact that as I'm struggling to pay off the debt I've managed to rack back up again in the past several years, this money could have been put to much better use. Often, I imagine what my life would be like if I could say, "Hey, family, let's go out to dinner tonight," and be able to pay cash without worrying if I'll have enough at the end of the money without relying on credit cards.

I'm getting there. My wife and I are working towards being "debt-free" once again. In less than a year, we should be there. But then we want to go further. We want to stop being a slave to money. Buy cars with cash, rather than financing them, for example. Or, the ultimate goal, to have a home that belongs to us no matter whether I lose my job or not...a home that is paid off.

I wish I had lived this way from the start, never falling prey to the seduction of having more than I can afford. Consider the typical 30-year mortgage. Even if I never faced losing my job, and was able to keep up on my house payments, in the end, I'll be paying almost two times more for the home than what it cost. Consider it. For a $200,000 home, I could pay an extra $260,000 in interest. That's $260,000 that might go to work building God's kingdom, helping the poor and hungry, of taking better care of my family such as being able to replace those couches we have in our home right now that we can feel the boards through.

My short-term goal is to eliminate all "unsecured" debt within the next 12 months. Beyond that, I'd like to be free of all on-going car payments within two years, and ten years from now, have a home that is completely paid for. Because then, we'll no longer be slaves to money.

Perhaps you'll consider joining my journey.

I'll write more on this subject later...

8 comments:

Michael Hoskins said...

Interesting post, Ryan. Tell you, it's one to think about. God speed in getting to that point where you can not be in debt, and best follow His plans as laid out.

Anonymous said...

I have great sympathy, Ryan. Our family is having many of the same problems. I'm enjoying your blog.

Just one point. You mentioned that there's no evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Since you posted that, this has made the front page of many papers:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1215998/Feathered-fossils-prove-birds-evolved-dinosaurs-say-Chinese-scientists.html

RyanBruner said...

Anonymous:

They didn't find a "feathered dinosaur". They found an extinct bird, and have no choice but to call it a feathered dinosaur because based on the supposed evolutionary-based time period it was found in geologically speaking, it fits the preconceived belief that birds evolved from dinosaurs. But birds coexisted with dinosaurs. This finding does nothing to support the "birds evolved from dinosaurs" theory since it is built about an assumption that has no merit to begin with.

In other words, they are looking for evidence to support a position, and so they interpret the finding to support that position even though there are plenty of other ways to look at it. Those are ignored because they don't support their position.

youdi chen said...

The Air Max 2011
Air Max 96
Air Max TN
Air Max Griffey 1 are getting a bit of a refresh for Spring 2012 and has been offered up in a “New Orchid” colorway. A staple of 90s, Cheap Nike Air Max
Kids Air Max
Air Max 2012
Air Max 90
Air Max 360 the model has been revived as a street wear vehicle and is seen here in a mix of white mesh, black nubuck, and new orchid leather. ##

youdi chen said...

Sound is Fashion Heartbeats by Monster Black
Monster Beats
Beats Tour
Monster By Lady Gaga Lady Gaga are holistically designed to deliver the soundtrack of your life with clarity and power, as well as satisfy your passion for fashion. Immerse yourself in pitch-perfect highs, precise mids, and club caliber bass. Because when your music sounds amazing, you stop hearing it, and start feeling it. Beats Studio
Beats Solo In other words, sound really matters. Plus, Lady Gaga didn't just style-check Heartbeats, she created the design to ensure they look like no other headphone out there. Sound Matters Because the Music Matters A great song transcends sound. Monster Diddy
Power Beats Dre
Monster Controltalk
Monster Beats Shop
Monster Tam
Vivienne Tam Butterfly
Monster Butterfly It has the power to move you to tears—or the dance floor. And the better your music sounds, the more emotional it is. ##

youdi chen said...

Sound is Fashion Heartbeats by Monster Black
Monster Beats
Beats Tour
Monster By Lady Gaga Lady Gaga are holistically designed to deliver the soundtrack of your life with clarity and power, as well as satisfy your passion for fashion. Immerse yourself in pitch-perfect highs, precise mids, and club caliber bass. Because when your music sounds amazing, you stop hearing it, and start feeling it. Beats Studio
Beats Solo In other words, sound really matters. Plus, Lady Gaga didn't just style-check Heartbeats, she created the design to ensure they look like no other headphone out there. Sound Matters Because the Music Matters A great song transcends sound. Monster Diddy
Power Beats Dre
Monster Controltalk
Monster Beats Shop
Monster Tam
Vivienne Tam Butterfly
Monster Butterfly It has the power to move you to tears—or the dance floor. And the better your music sounds, the more emotional it is. ##

lin741852 said...

sac burberry
sac chanel
chaussures nike
porte cles chanel
bracelet louis vuitton
chaussures puma
portefeuille louis vuitton
chaussures louis vuitton
sac a main
chaussures Christian Louboutin
dolce gabbana tasche
ed hardy tasche
fendi tasche
tee-shirts louis vuitton
louis vuitton pas cher
sac juicy
sac guess 2012 soldes
sac guess pas cher
tee shirts prada
tee shirts louis vuitton
prada bolsas
versace bolsas
Christian Louboutin Soldes
Christian Louboutin 2012
sandales Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin pas cher
chaussures Christian Louboutin
sac louis vuitton 2012
louis vuitton soldes

Ali Jawad said...

http://carsloverxxx.blogspot.com/ love this blog