5 Ways You Can Avoid Being Ensnared by the Deception of Debt This Christmas

 In Articles, Drenda On Guard, Finances

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, is upon us. BUT as we all know, along with the joy and excitement of spending time with family and friends, there is also pressure to spend money on gifts, decor, parties, special meals, decorations, fashion, travel, and more. In fact, nearly one third of families go into debt during the season for holiday purchases and will average seven months to pay it off! With inflation at its highest rate in 40 years, Americans’ risk of incurring even more debt this year seems more than a possibility.

This doesn’t have to be true for you and your family. 

While the culture treats debt like it’s a way of life, debt is actually rooted in deception. We are all familiar with when Eve said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” Genesis 3:13b (NIV). But did you know that the word “deceived” in Hebrew is “nasha,” which means “lend on interest, or usury, be a creditor, debt, exact, giver of usury”? Satan’s deception and enticement of Adam and Eve were acts of usurious “lending” that rendered them debtors. Only the precious blood of Jesus could pay the price for their sin.

Believers, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, can’t fall into this ancient scheme of enslavement. Deuteronomy 15:6b (ESV) says, “You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.” When we borrow, we end up being devoted to and serving money over God, as Matthew 6:24 warns. This plays right into the enemy’s deception of God’s people to turn them into debtors, which is even more perverse in the context of celebrating the birth of Jesus. His goal is to defile everything, including your demonstrations of love and kindness this season.

Having ministered side-by-side with my husband, Gary, whose passion is helping families live financially free, I have a few tested tips to help you avoid the snares of Christmas debt:

  1. Set a spending limit. Budget how much you can afford this year, and stick to it! This means not only calculating how much you spend on gifts but also on decor, food, and travel. While this isn’t a particularly exciting task, you’ll be glad you
    did come January.
  2. Pay with cash. Research shows that people typically spend more when they use a credit card than they do when they pay in cash. Handing over hundreds of dollars is much more difficult than swiping a credit card.
  3. Don’t replenish your existing holiday inventory. If you’re anything like me, you have plenty of Christmas decorations, dinnerware, and festive outfits. There is no need to spend more on these things, especially if your primary desire is to give to others this year and stay out of debt.
  4. Embrace free outings. Going to the ballet and out to dinner is certainly a treat, but there are also plenty of things to see and do without spending a fortune. Sledding, cookie exchanges, potluck dinners, family meals, classic movies, and enjoying your neighborhood lights are but a few things to do for little to no cost.
  5. Set your faith. Sow a seed and expect God’s provision for your giving this season. Faith works in this area too!

I can guarantee that the people who truly love you care more about making memories with you than anything you could buy them. I pray that you have a very Merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year, and all the joy the season has to offer free from the deception of debt.

Fight Like Heaven! A Cultural Guide to Living on Guard uncovers the financial schemes, the importance of family, and other critical mountains of influence at stake in our culture! Get your copy of Fight Like Heaven! HERE.

To learn more about the financial principles that brought Gary and me out of debt, go HERE and check out Gary’s book Fixing the Money Thing: A Practical Guide to Your Financial Success.

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