by Kenneth Copeland
The first Christmas was simple. There were no decorations, no feasts, and no Christmas cards or gifts. The only guests were shepherds, who briefly stopped by without expecting to be entertained. The focus was on the One who had come to save the world from sin.
Since then, it seems that Christmas has become more of a sales frenzy than the celebration of the birth of Christ. Statistics show that the average American will go into debt to fund their Christmas spending. The stress related with those expenses can last for months after the snow has melted.
There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts at Christmas. It symbolizes when we received our greatest gift. But, giving and celebrating should be a joy to you and those you wish to bless, and pleasing to the One who has been at every Christmas since the very beginning.
The Pressure to Borrow
Some time ago, The LORD told me something that I believe is the reason most of us take part in the world’s system of lending and borrowing. What He told me was simply this:
When you see people in the world who have spiritual problems that they’re trying to answer with material things, that’s materialism.
Having things and money in this lifetime is not bad. It’s the love of things and money that’s wrong (1 Timothy 6:10). Sin creeps in when “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16, KJV) are applied to things and money.
Debt, then, usually comes into play when lust is added to material things.
Why? Because lust brings with it pressure—the pressure to get, the pressure to get more, the pressure to hoard. The list is endless. And all that pressure is based in fear.
Instead of operating according to God’s principles of finances, such as sowing and reaping—taking the time to sow seed and believe God for the harvest—too often we step over into the world’s system which looks faster and easier.
At best, we prefer to have enough faith to believe God for the monthly payments on what our flesh is pressuring us to buy.
Keep in mind, however, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23, KJV).
Owe No Man
When Gloria and I were first married, we were $24,000 in debt. In 1967, that was a lot of money.
Going into debt was the only way I knew how to get anything in life. That was the way you bought your car and your house. That was the way you paid for your education and started your own business. Debt was a way of life for everyone—believers and unbelievers, alike.
As we sought The LORD, Gloria and I committed that, whatever we saw in The WORD of God—whether we liked it or not—we would adopt it into our lives immediately.
Well, it wasn’t but a few weeks later that I came across Romans 13:8, KJV: “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another…”
Owe no man anything?
My first thought when I read that was, There goes the whole deal right there…we’ll never have anything!
I grabbed The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition, and read the same verse. I just knew this couldn’t be right. “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything,” it said.
That was worse.
Gloria said, “Well…The WORD of God was not written for our disadvantage. It was written for our advantage. I don’t know what this means, but that’s just the way it is.”
Eleven months later, we were completely debt free, and we never were able to figure out how it happened except that it was God. Since then, we’ve never owed any man anything…“but to love one another.”
’Tis the Season for Debt Freedom
With the commercialization of Christmas, you may be facing regular temptations to overspend. Keeping up with the neighbor’s outside lights, the kids’ wish lists, and trying to impress out-of-town relatives could lead to a big mess. If you’re already struggling with debt, now isn’t the time to add to your mountain.
Jesus is the greatest gift you or I have ever received. We honor God best by obeying His WORD and being good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. Ask and believe God for what you need or would like to have, but don’t take matters into your own hands. That’s putting your trust in the wrong place.
The Covenant Connection
If you think about it, you cannot take out a loan for something without getting into some sort of “covenant agreement.” Whether it’s a simple handshake, or signing a 30-year mortgage, a covenant is being established and you’re stepping into a serious situation.
Borrowing is a replacement covenant. It is going to someone else when you should have gone to God and received through our covenant established in the blood of Jesus.
Take Your Place This Christmas
By going into debt, you become the tail, not the head. You can never be the head when you borrow from someone else. You’ll always be the tail. You’ll always be beneath.
What’s more, when we go to someone other than God to get something, we subject ourselves to spiritual forces and elements that are tied in with that person or institution. We open ourselves up for devils to have a shot at us that they didn’t have previously—even when we borrow from born-again believers.
The bottom line is, any time we get unequally yoked, we’re opening ourselves up to trouble. We may not see the effects instantly, but there’s a whole team of demons after us that wasn’t there before.
As you can see, debt is a dangerous business.
Remember, it is God who gives us “power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers” (Deuteronomy 8:18, KJV). He is the only financial backer we’ll ever need.
Dare to Shine His Light on Spending!
- Develop a budget for all Christmas-related expenses. Commit to sticking to that budget and paying with cash rather than credit.
- Honor The LORD with your finances this Christmas. Keep the focus on Him, rather than on acquiring more for the season.
- Answer His call to care for orphans and widows by planning a financial gift in your Christmas budget.
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