Strapped by Anxiety: Getting Out of Debt
BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER & BLOGGER
Well Spent: Redeeming Stewardship is a sermon series in which we’ve learned about becoming good stewards of our souls, specifically in the area of our finances. The parable delivered by Jesus in Mark 4:1-9 describes 4 different types of soils; only one of which produced a harvest. Using this lesson as our guide, we’ve studied what it means to cultivate a 4th soil life of fruitfulness and productivity.
If you’re just catching up on this series, take a moment to learn about moving from hard earth (1st soil) or rocky ground (2nd soil) to a 4th soil mentality.
The weeds and thorns described as part of the 3rd soil represent anxiety. It is an anxiety that fractures life, stunts fruitfulness and chokes out the word of God. The parable in Mark 4 attributes this anxiety to “the worries of life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things.” This anxiety renders the 3rd soil incapable of producing fruit.
Financial anxiety can come from two directions: one of being under resourced or one of being overextended. The goal of moving to 4th soil living may be the same, but those who are under resourced will follow a different path than the one followed by those who are overextended.
The anxieties of an under resourced life are considerable; and in some cases, pride blocks the path to the 4th soil. For someone who is under resourced, the first step away from this choking anxiety may be opening his or her heart to the love and care provided by resources like the Grace Church Care Center.
We become overextended when we make more financial commitments than we have the financial resources to match, often through means of consumer debt. Debt calls the shots, and can grow like a cancer—along with the anxiety it creates. The path away from debt and toward a 4th soil life is a series of steps:
Determine to live more simply and contentedly.
Seek help (especially if you are overwhelmed and not sure what to do).
Begin eliminating your debt.
Make a budget and stick to it.
Consider living cash only.
Start making payments bigger than the minimum.
Grace Church also offers resources for an overextended life. Visit the bookstore or library for recommended reading, such as God Owns It All. In April, Young Adults at Grace Church will offer a three week class entitled Rich: A Kingdom Approach to Debt, Wealth & Generosity. Click here to register. Additionally, Grace Church will soon offer a stewardship and resource development program, so stay tuned, but learn more about the mission here.