Yesterday, as I was driving home from dropping Isaac off at school, the radio program I was listening to was talking about debt. The Bank of Canada was about to increase interest rates, and they were talking about how dangerously close to the edge Canadians are living financially.
When I was a newly single parent with two kids I lived on what anyone would consider a modest income and yes I had some debt. But the kinds of debt they were talking about on the radio was unsecured debt (credit cards, etc) in the ten of thousands of dollars. I can’t even image what you could need so badly that you could get yourself into that much of a hole. Designer shoes? Vacations to Disney Land? Video games?
Today we are burdening ourselves with debt as we run around trying to buy happiness. TV, magazines, even news programs tell you all about the latest gadgets that you can’t live without. My household is not immune to this phenomenon. Isaac asks me almost daily for the latest upgrade to his app or the newest toy he just saw on Youtube. I went to Michael’s to pick up art supplies for David and found myself walking out with a stuffed bat for Halloween. I have so many Christmas decorations I could decorate two houses.
We live in a monkey see, monkey do society. But are all those things really making us happy? I think sometimes kids are the purest expression of the human character because they haven’t yet learned the art of dissemblance. No sooner does Isaac get something then he forgets about it and is on to the next thing.
Maybe we are taking on the wrong kind of debt, focused on the wrong kind of debt. You see where I’m going right? Jesus Christ. We owe him a debt that can never be repaid. I mean ask yourself, what value do you put on the salvation of your soul? And the best part about the debt we owe Jesus is that it doesn’t take years of budgeting or cutting back to repay him. All we have to do is acknowledge his sacrifice for us, his love for us and believe. We just have to believe that he died for our sins and make him a part of our lives. Accept his gift of love, let him into our hearts and our debt is erased. Just like that. If only everything in life was that easy. And the best part about making good on your debt to Jesus? Freedom. Of heart, of mind, of spirit. His love fills your heart so full that you don’t need to keep buying things to make yourself feel happy.
I was reading 1 Corinthians 16 today in which Paul says “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”
Do everything in love. Maybe that’s our problem. Everything Jesus did was out of love for humanity, for you. That includes his suffering and death on the cross. I try to remind myself every day to act in love. I pray everyday for God to change my heart and fill me with love, not for myself, but for others.
We live in such a commercial world that it is so easy, especially with the holidays coming, to get caught up. We rack up worldly debts as a means of showing our worth, or our love. But I have found, for myself, that the more I focus on the debt I owe to Jesus and the love he has for me, the less I feel the need to “consume”. Because I’m already full.
There is only one debt we can take on that will truly make us happy.