Last month I shared with you guys how the hubster and I committed to follow where Jesus leads this year, and how we set areas of focus to make sure we were being intentional with it, even though I fully expect God will surprise us with what He has in store.
Financial fitness is one of the areas we’re focusing on, specifically as it relates to being radical in paying down our debt. This has been a goal of ours for a while, and I used to be so scared of the fact that we’re in debt that it stressed me out like woah. I’m talking losing sleep and wondering if all was lost because there was a red number with my name on it. And while I do think it’s important to be aware of that and how much more we can flourish when we don’t have a bank trying to tie a leash around our necks, I’ve learned even that “responsible” fear I had was not what Jesus had in mind.
And something changed. Why, you ask? I learned that when we’re scared of our debt, we’re scared to give. And when we’re scared to give, we’re scared of really living. And Jesus didn’t die so that we could wait to really live until we debt free (see Galatians 5).
To be real with you guys, I love giving. And even in my most fearful moments, the hubster and I have always made it a point to give regularly every time payday rolls around. But I was torn between the radical generosity that I wanted to live out in my day to day life and the financial pressure I was feeling. Being released from that fear showed me that radical generosity can take many forms even when we’re not talking big bucks.
God is bigger than our debts. And we’re not spreading any light when we’re acting like we’re in shackles. The Bible might tell us that debt puts us into servant hood (Proverbs 22:7), but it also tells us that we are free (John 8:36, Galatians 5:1). Whatever debts we’ve racked up, they’re not bigger than the total debts that were paid for us on the cross.
And while that doesn’t negate the need for using what we have well, we don’t have to live in mourning while we do it. Jesus’ victory extends even here. And it’s in giving that we see all the while God is also giving to us. I’m not saying we don’t pay down our debts or that we give it all away, because we’re people of our words. But in letting go the FEAR of our debt, we see how much we really have right now. Not just as gifts from our Lord but as gifts for others.
Our love, our joy, our time and attention. An extra plate at the table and a book from our shelves. Our gifts that were given to us to be given to others – and whatever God brings to creation through our hands. Those are gifts and those are things that were made for us to be generous with.
“Radical Gratitude is the attitude of the revolutionaries. The radically grateful become the being radically generous.” – Ann Voskamp
So I’m no longer scared. I’m living it up. I’m accepting good gifts (Seattle trip, anyone?). I’m trying to give them out, too. And I’m discovering that even here in this place of imperfect financial scores, God is good and God is love and God is nothing short of radically generous.
You see, when you have too many dollars or not dollars enough, often the devil brings the dollars into your heart. But your heart must be filled with the Holy Spirit. And the Lord, He’ll do it. He will make you really the light of the world. – Corrie Ten Boom
Original photo of Smiling Female Executive by stockimages from freedigitalphotos.net. Adapted for this post by Stephanie Oh.