Are you debt-free?

Bro. Bo Sanchez likens having a debt to having cancer—a financial cancer, which should be treated as a kind of sickness—a financial disability.

And because it is a cancer, we must do all that we can to eradicate it.

Growing up in a poor family, I have seen my own parents’ relationship almost collapse because of financial problems such as having to borrow money from here and there to survive. I saw how stressful it is for my parents to have debts, and I myself have experienced much stress for having to pay large amounts of debt, which I didn’t even borrow and spend on myself. Add to this the stress of feeling hopeless when other people in need approach you to borrow money from you and you cannot do anything to help because you yourself are buried in debt.

Getting out of debt entails having a good plan and committing to that plan. But it is very important that we first decide that we want to be freed from debt.

The Bible, in Proverbs 22:7, says, “The borrower is a servant to the lender.” Whenever we borrow, we become a servant to whoever we borrowed from, may it be a bank, a business, a friend, a family member, or another institution. They can put conditions on what we can do and what we can’t do. In the biblical times, those in debt usually end up either in jail or serving the person who loaned them money.

Our God is a God of the free, and this freedom covers not only being free from sin, but from financial woes as well. Matthew 6:27 reminds us that God wants us to live worry- and stress-free, as the passage asks: “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Are you Debt-Free?

About 10 years ago, I graduated from the University and started working full-time, but as a fresh graduate who is yet to pass the licensure exam for chemical engineers, I accepted a job which pays roughly ten thousand pesos only monthly.

Being the eldest child in a family of eleven, I slowly slipped into the role of being the sole breadwinner of my family.

Payday after payday, although I have been preparing monthly and yearly budgets, my salary seemed never enough.

But I hardly had debts. (Although my parents getting loans from loan sharks is another story, which I had to settle myself even when I didn’t use the money.)

What helped me stay almost debt-free during those years when my monthly never seemed enough?

Living within my means and exhorting my family to do the same. This meant lowering my expenses and not spending on unnecessary stuff.

And of course, God’s providence.

Marj Baynosa is a chemical engineer and educator, who loves reading and writing in her spare time, especially on finance, faith, and other seemingly mundane things.

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