Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. – Romans 12:2 (MSG)
How many times have you followed the crowd, only to wake up and find yourself in trouble, in debt, or involved with someone who should have been off limits. Our culture tells us if we want to do something, Go For It! If you want it now, charge it. Flirt first and ask questions later.
I obtained my first department store charge card right out of college. I fell for the sales clerk’s pitch: “If you sign up today, you’ll save 20% off your entire purchase.” 20% off and I didn’t have to pay for them today?… I not only signed up for the credit card, but I also added two more sweaters to my heaping pile of new clothes.
Boy was I ever confident wearing those new outfits to my first “real job” as a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. But weeks later when I held the department store bill in my hands, my confidence bubble burst and flu-like symptoms washed over me. How could this be? The bill was bigger than my entire paycheck. My eyes scanned the bill from top to bottom, looking for an escape. Then I saw it…Minimum payment due: $25.
Yes! I could pay that. I thought I’d been rescued from the nightmare, until I saw the double digit interest rate. So much for the 20% savings.
I’m embarrassed to say, that debt followed me for over a year. It even followed me into marriage. It wasn’t a fun day when I had to explain to my new husband how one out of control shopping spree negatively impacted our ability to sign a lease on our first apartment.
God’s Word warns us against falling into the cultural trap of debt. Proverbs 22:7 proclaims, “the borrower is slave to the lender.” That’s the truth! God desires for us to break free from the any kind of bondage that holds us back from living on the path He has planned for us.
What are the cultural pulls upon your life today? Are you following the world or God’s Word? It might feel like we’re constantly fighting cultural currents and swimming upstream, but God’s ways are truly best for us. David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote a wonderful prayer we can pray when we want to follow God instead of the world.
Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5
Know that when you ask God to show you and teach you His paths, He does. When you ask God to guide you in His truths, He will. And when you wonder if the Savior of the world is leading you, He is.
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