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Will you ever get out of debt?

You need to learn how to handle your personal finances, how to get out of debt,
and how to stay out of debt!


THE CHANCES are you, right now, are in debt! If you are an "average" citizen in Canada or the U.S., for example, you have obligated nearly 25 percent of your take-home pay to short-term credit purchases. And you are going to pay for them with monthly installments and add-on interest charges for two or three or even five more years.

But as you pay off on one account, you will have charged on another. Some of you may not foresee a time you will ever get out of debt.

And in addition you are probably making long-term monthly payments on your home, your furniture or your automobile.

The world of CREDIT BUYING has made it all possible.


Time to Pay the Piper

At the same time millions of families accrue debts by credit buying, scores of thousands among them are filing for bankruptcy.

How did these scores of thousands reach the point of economic collapse? Surprisingly, most of these families were average. They were not multimillionaires who went broke over bad investments. They were the average neighbors down the street in suburbia who hold regular jobs and have regular debts.

Here is a profile.

The typical bankrupt family in Canada or the U.S. earns between $15,000 and $25,000 annually. The head of the household will be in his middle 30s. The family will have a 30-year mortgage on a middle-class home in the suburb of a major American city. They will have accumulated credit debts in addition to the home mortgage of a little more than $8,000. And they can't make the payments! That's what you might call "head over heels in debt."


How It Got That Way

Let's analyze this "average" family for a moment. You might fit the mold yourself. You certainly want to avoid the pitfalls so many have fallen into.

During the past quarter century credit buying has become a way of life. If you do not have a wallet full of plastic cards, you are indeed handling your finances different from the average person. You may have even felt compelled to obtain a credit card since many stores today will not even take a check in payment unless accompanied by your driver's license and not only one, but TWO major credit cards.

Obtaining these credit cards has heretofore been fairly simple. Just fill out an application where you bank and one comes in the mail. Lured by high-power ads on television and in magazines we have found it convenient to charge gasoline, clothing, department store purchases — almost everything we needed or thought we needed.

Young couples could furnish their apartments or homes within a few weeks of marriage. Their parents probably started with a hand-me-down bed and a used dining set and then accumulated furniture over 10 or more years. No need to wait today. Buy it on credit. Pay for it over three or four years. Enjoy a new couch, an entire bedroom suite and, of course, the ever-present brand new television and stereo.

Each item seems so affordable — the furniture, the car, new clothes.

The first thing you know, the used car dealer sends for the car to be repossessed. A credit collection agency sends snide and threatening letters.

Panic. Bankruptcy.

It happened to more than 1,300 American families every single day last year.


Credit Buying is Nothing New

It might surprise you to know it's an old American custom to buy on credit. It goes back to the very foundation of the country.

In his book, Buy Now, and Pay Later, Hillel Black shows just how much of a problem this debt menace has been, historically, as well as in the 1980s. On page 6 of this most-revealing book, Mr. Black states: "Being in debt is not new. The Babylonians, the Celts and other civilizations extended credit. Even the pilgrims on the Mayflower booked passage on the installment plan."

Most Americans probably are not aware that the founding fathers started the New World on money borrowed to be paid back later.

But, an alarming new trend was noted in the middle part of the 20th century. As a result of a consumer credit explosion, not only in the United States but in the whole industrial world, the total private debt proved greater than the combined private debt of mankind throughout history. Never have so many owed so much. Never has so much profit been made out of the debt itself.

Here we are, living in a world of spectacular push-button luxury — and much of it STILL BEING PAID FOR month by month, check by check, patiently hoping that all this glittering world we live in will someday be our very own.

At the present rate, it probably never will be! The average family will continue to go deeper and deeper in debt in the years just ahead.


What About You?

The chances are you are an average American, or Australian, Briton, Canadian or South African. And the chances are to one extent or another you have been caught in the swirling vortex of credit buying!

But where has it brought you?

The same average family probably lives in fear of their financial world closing in someday. After months of paying for the car, the television or the stereo, the desire to purchase more soon overwhelms the responsibility to pay off old debts first.

You are going to have to see where it is heading and learn it has to end somewhere. And you will have to discipline yourself to make yourself do what is best.


How to Begin to Solve Money Problems

While this flurry of consumer credit buying is going on, let's stop to ask a moment — where has God been all this time?

Are there any laws and principles from the Bible telling us how to handle our money?

Undoubtedly, the average man does not know.

Most people wouldn't know where to turn in the Bible to find out if all this credit buying is good or not! Many would laugh if anyone even suggested searching the Scriptures to find how to run a family budget and handle money matters.

There is not one single facet of life the Bible does not touch upon and, in principle, tell you what to do. Your personal finances are included — there is a great deal in the Bible about money matters.

So, the place to start straightening out your financial problems is the Word of God.

Go to the source.

The apostle John was inspired to write in III John 2, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." It is God's desire we have brimful, jam-packed lives — lives abounding with good health and the prosperity to enjoy that health.

Christ said one of the reasons he came was "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

You certainly cannot have a happy, abundant and prosperous life if you are up to your ears in debt. You need to find the way to prosperity and abundant living.


Put God First

The first law of financial happiness and PROSPERITY IS to put God first. Don't turn to him in a last minute, last ditch, effort of desperation to save yourself from disaster. Find out now what you should do!

Of course, if you are already halfway down the road to financial collapse and ruin, the only thing you have left to do is try it God's way.

If you are a newly married couple — or if your debts have not piled up beyond reason — you need to learn what to do to avert a future disaster in your financial life.

Whether you are now under deep financial obligations or have already undergone bankruptcy, or if you are just getting started on a life of earning money and providing for a family, you need to put God's way first and foremost in your planning.

Most people never stop to think the very soil they till, the factory where they work, the home where they live, in reality all belong to God! It never enters the mind of the common man on the street that the paycheck he receives initially belongs totally to God.

God gives us the land, the water and natural resources that make our jobs possible. He gives us food to eat, air to breathe and water to drink so we can work at our jobs. The universe, the earth and all its natural resources, yes, even the very buildings we build, BELONG TO THE ALMIGHTY CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.

In that sense of the word, nothing we do or have really belongs to us. It all belongs to God.

But God is a generous God. He has not demanded we give it all to him. He has given it all to man to use. Man can work the land, till the soil, use the earth in any way he chooses or sees fit. God has given laws whereby man should do all of this, but he has not forced human beings to do it the right way. He has left that up to us for a period of 6,000 years.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, God gives us a choice, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live."

There are two ways to go.

One leads to curses, sickness and financial disaster. The other choice is do it God's way. That way will result in life as life is intended to be lived. And it includes monetary blessings.

The question remains — do you want to do it God's way?

Obviously, if someone is going broke and standing on the brink of collapse, he is spending more money than he has coming in. A $200-a-week American factory worker cannot live in the same fashion as a $1,000-a-week executive. He would go broke the first month he tried to live that way. And the $1,000-a-week executive cannot spend money on the same scale the highly paid $1 million-a-year professional athlete does.

No matter what salary you make you have to control how you spend what you have.


God's 10 Percent

Most people in today's society receive a wage or salary as income for labor. Whether a laborer, clerk, blue-collar or white-collar worker, businessman or banker, we receive money for our efforts.

The reason so many are failing is that they never have been taught the right way. Here's what people haven't learned from Malachi 3:8-9, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."

Remember, God owns the land — it's all his! Yet God tells you and me we can have 90 percent of all the increase we can make from the land or in our jobs. Think of it — a God so generous he gives us 90 percent of all the earth will produce.

But he is careful to point out that the 10 percent (that is what the word tithe means) that belongs to him must faithfully be paid to him for his use — it cannot be used for our own spending. Because people have not known that — they have been robbing God and face the potential for financial disaster.

Just look around you to see whether or not that scripture is literally being fulfilled today. Malachi gives sound and stable financial counseling. His writings have been preserved for us and are not out-of-date but up to the minute. If you are willing to follow this counsel there will be abundance and prosperity. Notice the next verse — verse 10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

That's God's promise to you!

And he challenges you to prove it. Thousands upon thousands of people are finding out that God's way of tithing and being generous with offerings does work. God will do for you what he promises.