Saturday, March 20, 2010

Debt free!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Deuteronomy 15:1-11

TO CHEW ON: “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts…. except when there may be no poor among you; for the Lord will greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 15:1,4

I think the Prime Minster of Canada needs to read this passage – and our premiers and our mayors. Isn’t this just the simplest solution for poverty: forgive all debts every seven years!

Here the Israelites were told to not only lend freely with the view of forgiving all debts every seventh years, but to lend freely even it if was the sixth year, knowing that there was little chance their debt would be repaid. The underlying reason was to help their brother, not profit from him, in his misfortune.

I’m no economist, but even my simple understanding of how our financial system works tells me that such a rule would wreak havoc in Canada in 2010. No more 20- or 30-year mortgages, no personal debts that last past seven years, no more national debts over generations, and probably no more billion dollar debt nations! I don’t know any person or nation that lives this way – do you?

Despite how impractical this passage seems, it illustrates a couple of important principles about material prosperity that are as relevant today as ever.

  • We should look out for each other and be willing to lend a hand (or money) even at our own expense.
  • Prosperity is not meant to fatten us, but to flow through us.

I must admit I fall far short in this area. The story Jesus told of the two debtors  comes to mind. It makes me realize that this principle applies to me too, for I too have been forgiven much, perhaps not in the money sense but in the sin sense (even to the extent of my sin of possessiveness and stinginess).

PRAYER: Dear God, I have much to learn about Your generosity – including in material things. Loosen my clutch on the things I call mine. Grow in me a spirit that reflects Your willingness to give and forgive with no strings attached. Amen.


Hear the Call of the Kingdom” by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Though this song isn’t specifically about material possessions, it talks about how the Kingdom of God impacts our lives in many areas. As you listen to it and consider the lyrics, give some thought to what you might usually take as referring to only spiritual things (being the “children of light,” having the “mercy of heaven,” reaching out to the lost “with the Father’s compassion” etc.) to material possessions.

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