We wrote yesterday about the need to make good choices. I thought to complement that article today by delving a little deeper into the financial choices we make, many of which aren’t very good. The wisdom of Solomon is clear:
The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)
That verse is rather startling don’t you think? I mean, it is surprising just how wise it really is; how clearly it describes the relationship between the one who owes and the one who is owed. Think about it. As long as you are in debt to another you are subservient to them. Now, you can pretend otherwise but its clear that the lender controls the borrower.
- A portion of your work profits belong to the borrower. You debt may be small as a percentage of your income but a portion must always go to the person who loans you money. You work is never entirely your own. We complain about how much money the government takes in taxes but we never stop to think about how much of every dollar goes out the door to pay our debt. Go ahead and figure it out. Divide your total monthly debt payment by your monthly income and see what you get. It may shock you.
- The borrower defines how much you work. Because your monthly debt is largely a fixed amount, that is, it is not based on how much you work, you must work a certain amount every month just to keep up. If you do not, the debt falls behind and the telephone calls from debt collectors begins. How much more free time would you enjoy if you had less debt?
- The borrower defines the quality of your life. because you have so much debt that must be paid, there is often little left for the fun things in life. Suddenly simple vacations are out of reach. Dinner out becomes impossible and a night for the family at the movies just cannot happen. Interestingly, debt is usually fixed but income taxes are not. So the more you work, the more the taxes. You still end up with more money but your labors give you less because of an increasing tax burden. So, you work more, see less and struggle. Debt directly affects your life.
- The borrower is never far away. Those who lend are in the business of making money. The provide you with a product (money) which you must pay for. But fall behind a few days and the calls will begin. They will come in the morning, at lunch, at dinner, while you are tucking the children into bed and right up until the last legal minute. Some call it harassment while others just see it as a way to get paid but in any case the borrower’s breath is always on your neck.
The message is simple: Debt is bad. It is to be avoided at all costs. Solomon had it right. And I don’t think you want to be anyone’s slave!