A Matter of Life and Debt


Many years ago my wife and I sat down to look at our finances, and whether or not we would run out of money before the end of the month. Our net was looking pretty gross, so we made a list of our personal assets. I’m told there are two kinds of assets. “Liquid” assets are measured by how much milk, orange juice and root beer you have in the fridge. “Solid” assets are those that will outlive the expiry date on your milk carton.

Here is a list of our “solid” assets:

• A rust coloured car that started out green
• A little dog that we paid $300 for (or approximately $100 per brain cell)
• Some money in a daily interest savings account (interest rate of .004%)
• $220 worth of key chains
• $250 worth of pens in a drawer beside the stove (only four of them worked)
• $7.59 in spare change beneath our sofa cushions
• A little money in our checking account

If you are about to back your bank-financed car out of your bank-owned garage to drive to the bank to open a line of credit so you can fill your mortgaged home with new furniture because a sign promises “No payments until February,” please put the keys in your pocket and listen to these three tips to help get you back in the black.

1. Stay out of debt. If you’re married, you know it’s almost impossible to be deeply in love when you’re deeply in debt.
2. Choose contentment over consumption. I saw a bank slogan that said, “We will lend you enough money to get you completely out of debt.” We lose our minds when we focus on cash. But here’s one secret of a joy-filled life. Possessions consume your time. The fewer things we possess, the more time we have to invest in people. Stuff is a lousy substitute for the people that can make our lives rich.
3. Remember there is only one guaranteed investment. Jesus told a story of a rich man who ran out of time to spend the money he had piled up. He died, and do you know how much he left behind? Everything. Jesus referred to him as a fool. We’re wise to put something away for the future, but we are not here to stockpile. There is only one guaranteed inheritance, and we can read about it in 1 Peter chapter 1: “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.”

Let that thought bring you joy today. Whether you have a lot or a little, the stuff of earth fades. But things that really matter are kept for us. Forever.

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