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May 6, 2011 / 74

DEBT

Debt

(Originally written Fri Jan 2, 2009)

Debt is a word that I’d guess all of us are familiar with. But what is debt, REALLY? Some would say that debt is when you owe someone money. Well… yeah… that would be one use of the word. Others would say that if someone did you a favor you’d be “in their debt.” That would be another way of looking at it. But I have a way to define it that covers both of those uses and more.

Debt is when you obligate your future.

If you borrow money, then someday you’ll have to work to earn money to pay it back. So the hours that you’ll have to work are not yours any more. They belong to the person you owe, and your debtor’s agreement contains the terms that they can apply to your future to make you pay them back.

Just for fun, sit down right now with a piece of paper and write down how much money you make an hour at your job. Then multiply that times the number of hours you can work in a day, times the number of days you can work in a year, then times the number of years that you can expect to be able to work for the rest of your life. If you owe half of it, you have given up half of your remaining life for whatever you borrowed for. Was it worth it? Will what you borrowed for still be around when you pay it off?

Since debt is where you promise part of your future to someone else, people will become more and more reluctant to loan you anything as you age. Take your life, and imagine it’s a loaf of bread. When you borrow, you’re slicing off a piece of it and giving it to someone else, and you can never get that piece back.

As I mentioned above, there are different kinds of debt. There is short and long term debt, and short term debt that can become long term debt. There is credit card debt. There is mortgage debt. There is consumer debt and capital debt and… well… lots of different kinds. Each kind has its own rules and rewards and penalties that you agree to live with.

One of the big rules of going into debt is, if you don’t know the rules for the debt, DON’T DO IT!!! Have someone explain the rules to you so you understand how much of your life you’re giving up, but also what you’re giving it up for. This will help you to make better decisions as to how you want to spend the rest of your life.

Every time you swipe a credit card, you’re making a decision about your future. Ha! And you thought you were just buying a cup of coffee. Nope.

Sobering, isn’t it.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Michael E Picray / May 7 2011 19:04

    Prov 22:7
    Wow! God was an economist too??? Wow! ;-D

  2. Steve / May 7 2011 17:47

    Good post. Depressing to those of us in debt, but still good.

    Proverbs 22:7 ” The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave. “

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