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How to Start the Climb out of Debt
By Rick Warren

“Don’t withhold repayment of your debts.” Proverbs 3:27 (TLB)

God makes it abundantly clear in the Bible how he feels about debt. Proverbs says, “Don’t withhold repayment of your debts” (Proverbs 3:27 TLB). And in Romans you can read, “Let no debt remain outstanding” (Romans 13:8 NIV).

You probably already know this intuitively, but God makes it clear in the Bible: Debt is not a good thing.

Yet many people find themselves drowning in debt. Moving forward, they would be willing to pay as they go if they could just finish paying for where they’ve been.

That’s what God wants for you too. He wants you to repay what you owe so he can bless you in your finances. But working your way out of debt isn’t easy. First you have to commit to do it, and then you need to make a plan for it. Let’s look at those two steps.

Commit to getting out of debt. You’ve probably noticed that it’s easy to coast into debt. You don’t even have to think about it. But you cannot coast out of debt. You’ve got to make a U-turn and start a long climb back up the hill. That requires a tough decision and a commitment to the time and discipline it will take to get out of debt.

It’s easy to feel alone in this uphill climb. But God knows right where you are! He understood this was going to happen a long time ago. And in the midst of your problems, he wants to help you, to strengthen you, and to grow you. He is with you in this challenge. You are not alone.

Make a plan to get out of debt. Getting out of debt is a day-by-day, step-by-step task. And it involves a word that most people don’t like: discipline. It means not buying that, resolving to do this, deciding not to do that.

The Bible says in Proverbs 21:5, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (NLT).

If you’re in debt, don’t ignore this warning from the Bible: Watch out for hasty shortcuts. If you’re in debt, you’re in pain—and you want to get out of pain as quickly as possible. And it’s tempting to take shortcuts.

But instead of chasing hurried shortcuts, look for God’s plan. Then commit to the plan, determining to do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals.

Imagine where you could be in a year if you took diligent steps to be free of debt. Then resolve to take those steps every day, relying on God’s wisdom and grace to do the hard thing.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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