Money is tied intrinsically into every facet of our lives. We need it to feed, clothe, and entertain ourselves and our loved ones, and we can use it to support the causes closest to our hearts. Of the many things Jesus spoke about, money is one of the areas where we need to get our priorities right, as Jesus said these words,

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and moneyMatthew 6:24, NIV

Money can become so all-consuming and god-like precisely because of how it can seemingly meet all of our needs. Loving money can end up leading you away from the faith and piercing your soul with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:10). When it comes to the topic of debt, it is helpful to understand the practicalities of handling money well, and it is also helpful to adjust our attitudes and mindset toward money that can often contribute to issues.

Understanding debt

Debt is when you owe a sum of money that you may have borrowed and need to pay back later. Usually, when a debt is paid back, you pay back the amount you owe, and an extra amount called interest on top of that. Debt is usually how people make large purchases that they couldn’t otherwise because most of us do not have large amounts of cash lying around to use. Thus, we use debt to buy a house, fund our education, buy a car, etc.

Not all debt is the same, as some debt can help you meet significant needs. Few people could outright make purchases such as a home or a car, and to some extent, it is inevitable to be able to have these things. Having a credit card can give you access to funds in an emergency, and a company can use debt to grow itself and its capacity to compete in the free market.

However, being able to borrow money now with the promise of paying it back later can become problematic if you accumulate too much debt and have no way of paying it back. If you lose your job or fall ill, that will compromise your ability to pay back what you owe, and that can mean you lose the item that was used to secure the debt (like the car or the house that secures the auto loan and the mortgage).

Keeping all that in mind, debt-free living is helpful in several ways. It can enhance your sense of peace because you don’t owe anyone anything. If you keep your debt to a minimum and have a plan for paying off what you owe, that reduces the possibility of losing significant assets such as your home.

Helpful steps to for getting out of debt

There is a real sense in which debt is a part of our lives and we cannot avoid it. However, we can be judicious in how we handle our money and the kinds of things that we get ourselves into debt for. Being conscientious and planning how we use our resources can help us to not get caught unawares by overcommitting ourselves.

If it can be helped, you should aim to not take on too much debt to begin with, and if you must get into debt, get into debt with a plan for getting out of it. Some ways to help with the process of getting out of debt include the following:

Identify your income and your expenses

Doing an inventory of what you own and what you owe helps you form a clear picture of your finances and financial obligations. You may be surprised by what you’re spending your money on. Consider how you can also generate additional income. Getting a side hustle for a season can help you meet your obligations.

Outline your priorities

Not everything in your life has equal importance. Within reason, the things that allow you to continue generating an income are important to maintain. That way, you can continue servicing your debt. Have a plan for paying back your debt, for instance paying off your credit cards in full before interest charges accumulate or paying off the high-interest debts first.

Make some hard choices

When you’re in debt, consider yourself to be in crisis. Now is the time to make hard choices, to set aside luxury, comparing yourself to others, or wanting to maintain a certain image. Tightening your belt means making choices that will be uncomfortable and wide-ranging. It may mean canceling certain credit cards or radically changing your lifestyle and habits.

Jesus once said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15, NIV). Don’t get into debt to maintain a lifestyle or an image in the hopes that it will give you meaning.

Speak to someone

Money and finances can be a confusing labyrinth, and it can be helpful to talk with a financial advisor to help with things like consolidating your debt and budgeting. In some cases, you may need to speak with someone like a counselor to help you work through any unhelpful patterns of thought that might fuel risky financial behaviors.

Much debt may be accumulated through no fault on one’s part, and speaking with someone to work through any financial anxiety or emotional distress can also be helpful. If you would like to speak to a counselor about your attitudes toward handling money, contact us today at Wylie Christian Counseling in Texas to set up a risk-free appointment.

“Money Jar”, Courtesy of Karolina Graboska,, CC0 License