Facing a large amount of debt can easily lead to feelings of anxiety, shame or discouragement. However, letting negative emotions take over can make your life miserable, slow down your repayment progress or even cause you to give up in despair. On the other hand, making the intentional choice to stay positive while paying down debt can help you maintain focus on your goal and enjoy your life in the process.
What Does the Bible Say About Debt?
God’s Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” Your debt may look like an insurmountable obstacle at first glance, but God wants you to have faith in His power. Do you believe that God can richly bless your hard work and your desire to manage your finances well? You need to trust that He can use this experience to help you grow in endurance, patience, hope and contentment.
The Bible also says in Isaiah 40:31 that those “who wait for the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.” As you strive to be faithful to God, He promises to give you the strength you need to face each challenge day by day.
Think Long Term: What would being debt-free mean for you?
You might look forward to greater freedom to travel or invest, or maybe you dream about being able to financially help your family members or worthy charitable organizations. Perhaps the thing you long for the most is the absence of financial anxiety and the stress that comes along with it.
Whatever your ultimate goal is, the sacrifices you make today bring you one step closer to achieving it. One big change is often the result of a myriad of small changes, so keep your dreams in mind and make the changes you can today.
You Don’t Have to Do it Along: Help is Available
The realization that you don’t have to face this challenge on your own can go a long way towards helping you stay positive while paying down debt. At Christian Debt Counselors, our goal is to help you manage your debt and regain control of your finances according to Biblical principles.
Our professional credit counselors can assist you in several ways:
- We will review your current debt and financial situation.
- We will develop a plan to consolidate or settle your debt.
- We will negotiate to achieve the lowest possible interest rate.
- We can relieve stress by talking with your creditors so you don’t have to.
- We will work to set up a realistic repayment plan.
Track Your Progress Visually
A visible reminder of how far you’ve come can be an encouragement and a source of inspiration every time you look at it.
Create a handmade color chart by tracing a circle or bar graph, and incrementally mark it with dollar amounts. Gradually color in the shape as you reach each mark.
You can also use a computer program or handwritten paper version to keep a running tally on a spreadsheet. Start with your original debt amount, debit every payment you make and be sure to update each new total.
Celebrate Every Success, No Matter How Small
Did you make the conscious choice to come home and prepare a meal rather than opting for the convenience of takeout? Did you choose to explore a nearby park or sight-see in your own city instead of going away for a weekend trip? Each of these is an example of a victory you should feel proud of, especially if they represent areas of struggle in your past.
Whether it’s an unnecessary purchase you choose not to make or a free experience that gives you joy, intentionally look for something to celebrate or appreciate every day.
Enjoy Free or Inexpensive Entertainment
Becoming debt-free is an excellent goal, but you don’t need to put your life on hold in the meantime. Get creative in coming up with fun ways to enjoy time alone or with others while still working toward your financial target.
Here are a few ideas you may want to look into:
- Go hiking or biking.
- Learn a new skill or hobby.
- Host a pot-luck and movie-viewing at your home.
- Organize a card or board game tournament for your family or friends.
You may discover some inexpensive activities you enjoy so much that you continue to do them even after you’ve reached your financial goal!
Look for Opportunities to be Generous
One of the best ways to get your eyes off of your own challenges or discouragements is to reach out and actively help other people with theirs.
If you have an elderly neighbor, friend or relative, you can help them with their yard work and errands, or you can just sit and visit with them over a cup of coffee. You could volunteer at a food pantry, or you could spend some time with lonely animals at a shelter. Many young parents would greatly appreciate an afternoon or evening out while a trusted babysitter watches their children.
Even though you may not have much money to give away right now, that doesn’t mean you have nothing of value to share. Giving doesn’t have to be monetary.
Get help with Debt
If you are facing a difficult debt situation, don’t hesitate to contact our office to set up an appointment with one of our professional credit counselors. You don’t have to walk through this alone, and we look forward to serving you!