Take a look at that picture. It’s a screen shot of my last credit card account. ‘Debt Free’ is now stamped across our personal finance files. There’s such relief…freedom…elation that comes from that label!
Not only are we not dragged down by owing others, we are freed up to pursue other things! A full emergency fund of six months expenses. A full retirement fund of at least $10 million dollars. Kids’ college tuition paid for. Next house purchased with cash. Dream vacations paid for up front – and not eating at McDonald’s only while on vacation! (hold on, let me pick my jaw up from that realisation!) And not just stuff for us, but for others. We will shortly be able to give generously to help others adopt, seek medical treatment, send their kids to school, eat, pay the electric company, pay a mortgage, get a root canal. And on and on and on. What couldn’t we do financially? NOTHING! Without this debt on our backs, we can take our money anywhere.
Financial peace. That’s what being debt free has brought us. Financial peace and financial freedom – the freedom to do what is best for us and others. We will even shape the way our children think about money. They get the blessing of starting off with financial peace! Just think what a difference that could’ve made to our generation!
It’s odd to me what a prevalent way of life debt has become to this country. At least it’s odd to me now. Before our financial paradigm shift from the Dave Ramsey course, I thought debt totally normal. I didn’t quite realise the heaviness of my future being accounted for already. I was always working to pay the past. Oh, sure, sometimes life would come up and it’d be a kick in the teeth to take out a new loan or put something else in Citibank’s file, but mostly I carried that debt strapped on well – it wasn’t going anywhere!
The paradigm shift happened slowly (well, okay, in a matter of a few weeks, but it wasn’t, like, instantaneous). But it definitely happened. I called the credit card company to cancel our last card. The lady asked why and I told her to pick a reason: we’re debt free, we’re cash only, we’re not working for your company anymore, Dave Ramsey said so. Instead of a pat response, she squeaked, “Really!?!”
Then, the worker at this credit card company proceeded to ask me how we did it, who’s Dave Ramsey, and how can she get out of debt and have financial peace? She soaked up everything and emphatically thanked me before we ended our call. Another life changed.
I am debt-free. Thank you, Dave.
It’s not unnoticed in our home that this debt status change is happening on Good Friday and Easter weekend – the time we recognize Jesus dying on the cross and then rising from the dead.
It’s the exact same thing: Paid in full. Debt free. Peace. Freedom.
Just like debt is the dominant mindset in our country, sin is the way of all humanity. While God created us perfect in His image to have a forever relationship with Him, He also gave us choice. We all choose the wayward path. We all choose the selfish way. We all choose the opposite of what is best for us. We are marred. Dirty. Sinful. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one ….” (Rom 3:10) We all fall short of the glory of God.
And what does sin cost us? What’s the interest rate? What’s the principal? Sin costs everything. Paul tells us in Romans that “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23) Sin is a debt we can never repay. We can never be good enough or do enough good works. Sin demands perfection as payment, and we’ve already tripped the breaker on that. It dirties us and we cannot then be around a holy, perfect God while carrying that debt. Which we can never get rid of. So, what does sin cost? It costs us an eternity in Heaven with the Lord. It costs us a life of peace and joy right now. The debt of sin weighs us down all the way to Hell. Forever.
But not for me.
The debt of my sin is cleared. Somebody else paid it. He is Jesus.
He knew I couldn’t pay it. He knew that I’d owe it. He had this plan all along – since before the beginning of time. He didn’t even ask me – like trying to make an exchange such as He’ll do this if I do that. He just did it. He is God. He is perfect. That only acceptable payment for sin: perfection. And He sacrificed Himself to have my slate wiped clean.
I am a sinner. I incurred a debt I could not pay. Jesus stepped in and paid it for me – in full.
He paid it for you, too. All you have to do is know that you personally owe this debt because of your sin and then ask Jesus to apply his debt forgiveness to you.
“For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
That’s debt payment. And, it’s forever.
That’s soul peace. That’s soul freedom. You see, once that debt is lifted, peace floods in. Hope reigns in the heart. Freedom arises to pursue pure and righteous things. Future generations are blessed.
And, just like I shared my elation with the credit card lady, my joy and elation extends to you. This gift is free. You can have your debt removed. Just ask Jesus to stamp you Paid in Full.
That’s what Easter is: it’s when Jesus paid the bill and made me debt-free.