In Credit Cards We Trust?
Photo by: inkynobaka
Recently I cut up my credit cards. We’ll get to why in a minute. But first, when I announced I had cut up my cards, I got some interesting responses. While some people were really happy for me, others were skeptical. They asked what I would do in an emergency. What if I had a sick family member across the country?
Those are tough questions. I’ll admit in an emergency, the easiest thing to do is whip out a credit card to charge a plane ticket. Ideally, you would have an emergency fund large enough to cover any emergency you might face. But if you don’t have a large emergency fund, what is the answer?
As a Christian, I don’t believe the answer is credit cards. By relying on credit cards, we limit the power of God. How many times in scripture has God promised to provide for our needs? Time and time again.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25-26
And what does God have to say about debt?
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7
The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously. Psalm 37:21
If I truly believe that God loves me and has a plan for my life; if I truly believe that God will provide for my needs; and if I truly believe that God takes a dim view of my taking on a debt I can’t easily repay, should I really be relying on credit cards for an emergency?
Doesn’t it make more sense to trust the Almighty, the one who created me and knew me from before I was born, to provide for my needs? Shouldn’t I trust God for knowing what is best for my life? Why limit what He can do by trusting in a little piece of plastic?
And that, my friends, is why I cut up my credit cards. We have an emergency fund, but it’s certainly not big enough to take care of any emergency that comes our way. But I don’t want to be guilty of relying on credit cards to get me through a tough spot. I’d rather wait to see how God will work things out.
Sometimes I think Christians have a disadvantage in the wealth of the United States. In a country that preaches self reliance, we forget Who is ultimately in charge. For a long time we sponsored a boy in Bali, Indonesia. He had no credit to rely on, he hardly had any money, and he lived every day in fear that he might be killed for his faith in Christ. And his faith was amazing.
You see, he was forced to rely upon God for his very life day after day. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he alone could not survive. And he saw God’s provision, both for his physical needs and for his safety, over and over again.
What is the difference between me and the Indonesian boy we sponsored? Nothing except for the wealth and freedom of my country. If I want to worship, I go to church. If I want a new car, I can finance it. I don’t have any obvious deep desperate need that drives me to the feet of Jesus to beg for my very survival. And sometimes it takes such a desperate moment for us to recognize the true power of God.
By giving up the credit card, I’m giving up a little comfort. I can’t fall back on the plastic in case of emergency. I’m forced to rely on God. And I can’t wait to see how He chooses to work in my life.