How to Get Out of Debt
The Bible says this is simple. "The borrower is the servant of the lender." Except the word really is "slave." "The borrower is the slave of the lender." The Bible also says, "Owe no man anything save love." That's all you are supposed to owe. We have a debt of love to everybody. But we are not supposed to be in debt otherwise, because debt is bondage.
Now, I know there are certain types of debt that seem to be worthwhile in business. But some of the best businesses don't borrow. They live out of cash flow. What we are finding today in the collapse of the stock market is people who have cooked their books. And many times they have cooked them because they have unsupportable debts. WorldCom owes something close to $30 billion. Many of these telecoms have borrowed right up to their eyeballs, and they can't get out so they have to get involved in shenanigans in order to survive. Enron was building up enormous debts.
And the debt causes people to do things. It has caused people to commit suicide. It has caused marriages to fail. It is probably the number one cause of divorce in the United States -- debt and financial trouble.
And the reason we have debt in this country is real simple. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. It is that we want it now. That's the definition of lust. We want it now. We want a bigger house than we have, and we want it now. We want fancy furniture, we want it now. We want new clothes, and we want them now. We want fancy restaurant meals, and we want them now. We want a vacation cruise, and we want it now.
And so if a credit card company says, "Look, we'll give you an easy payment schedule, consolidate your debts, and do this, that, and the other " And now the latest ploy is, "We'll take a second mortgage and consolidate your debts." And then you'll be paying that off for the next 20 or 30 years. The bankers know the principle of compound interest. The credit card companies know the principle. And they also make a tremendous amount of money -- in the billions of dollars -- off late fees and off special charges.
I read that some credit companies are taking people who miss a few payments and reclassifying their debt and kicking the interest rate up to 28 percent. It is a trap ladies and gentlemen. And it is brought about basically by wanting too much now.
If you want to get out of debt, there are some things you need to do. First of all you need to understand what is the called the exponential curve. It is a very simple thing, but it works like this. What I call it is the law of use. Jesus Christ made it clear, you take what you've got and you use it. The law of compound interest coupled with the law of use will lead to amazing things.
I've shown it before, if you take $100 and you double it each year, after 20 years, just 20 years, you now have $50 million. How can that be? The law of use and compound interest. That's what happens. Of course you don't normally get 100 percent interest every year. But if you can get your money that way, you can certainly take $100 and get another $100. You can take $200 and get another $200. And so it goes. If you save it and compound it, it doesn't show very much. It takes patience, but sooner or later, you will come out with something better.
The other thing that is so important, which we've mentioned many times before, is the law of reciprocity that says give and it will be given unto you. These are principles that God has put in his word. If you take what you've got and use it, you will have more. And he who thinks he's got something, even what he thinks he's got will be taken away from him if he doesn't use it. Now the other thing is to give and it will be given unto you.
If you just, number one, have a budget where you don't overspend. Number two, you begin to give unto the Lord substantially. And number three, you begin a certain saving program where money works for you and just let it grow and do its thing. You will be astounded at what will happen in 10, 15, to 20 years. People will say, "How did you get so much money?" "Well, it was easy because I followed the laws of God."
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.