OK, on to Aseem’s no.9 which looks at the pitfall of buying money.
You’ve seen that new 4K curved TV in the sale, there is only one left and you can overhear the fella behind you talking about how he is looking for the same, 4K mega TV! This is it, you can’t hesitate, you don’t get paid for another month and that tax rebate won’t come in for a few months, but you can’t miss this deal of a lifetime. What do you do? (I am sure most of you have said, walk away, but stay with me.) You go for the instant cash, you decided to buy some money, a pay day loan, borrow it, and walk away with the TV of your dreams.
I did a quick search online about this stuff, say you borrow £500, and plan to repay it over 4 months, the APR (annual percentage rate) the lender will charge you is worked out, and in some cases over that 4 months you will pay £2953!!! That’s a whopping 4670% APR.
OK, that was a scary example, but your mortgage, your car lease or credit card are all forms of buying money. Now you can argue that this is, in some cases OK and helpful, if the boiler explodes in winter and you don’t have £1000 sitting about, you buy money to sort it. Or that holiday you can pay off during the year because it is on a credit card, it’s easy.
Perhaps then if we are going to look at this with a spiritual filter we need to be real about it. We are talking about cash v credit, reaching beyond our capability and financial boundaries to have and get what we want (and need?) Instead of saving, planning and administering our funds effectively, we buy money. (I am not a pro at this, just saying, I am challenging myself here to be honest!)
If we start to suggest that behind the credit is a hunger or desire for stuff, then we are exposing something that is unsettled and restless within our lives. That gets a bit uncomfortable, when is enough enough and how do we measure and gauge if our ‘material’ filter and sensors are calibrated correctly? Is it not different for everyone?
Yeah, I guess so, but I also think we know if we are living within our means and income or outside of it.
It doesn’t seem right here to try and chuck a bible verse in to back up my argument, so I won’t. But what the bible does explore is how we steward money, our attitudes towards it, debt, how we give it away and how we value it. There seems to be an expectation that we will manage money well, not be managed and controlled by it, but I think the bible also goes a few layers deeper to what drives us, to what feeds into our lives opening up credit traps and debt pitfalls all around.
So, what do you think? How do you explore and manage this area of your life as a Christian man? Have you bought into the world of credit? See what I did there? Anyway, to take credit or not to take credit, that is the question!
Image Credit: Fabian Blank