by Elaine Bechtel
Ever ask yourself: “How did my finances get into such a mess?” Or “Is bankruptcy my only option?”
Most often, financial mismanagement or even greed brings us to the point where we feel bankruptcy may be our only option…however, it is almost never a good solution. The Bible warns us in Proverbs 21:17 (NAS) “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man: He who loves wine will not become rich.” And in Psalms 37:21 (NAS) we read, “The wicked borrows and does not pay back. But the righteous is gracious and gives.” Being unable to pay our obligations does not speak well of a God who supplies all of our needs. We may need to ask ourselves a tough question: Are our financial problems the result of satisfying our wants (greed) rather than meeting genuine needs? There is a big difference.
Whatever happened, here are some action steps to help us climb back from the brink of bankruptcy:
- Admit your spending habits need to change.
- Ask God for help and find an accountability partner.
- Take a financial course (like Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus) and learn about freedom from debt action plans.
- Put a hold on credit card purchases for now.
- Create a debt repayment schedule and commit to repayment.
- Call each creditor and discuss your options. Ask that they reduce the interest rate. Let them know that you intend to pay them back.
- Outline your repayment plan for them in a letter stating that if you get no response then you will believe that they agree to the plan, and send it by certified mail. (This may possibly help you if they take you to court or turn you over to a collection agency.)
Coming back from the brink of bankruptcy is not easy, but it is the right thing to do. So let Romans 13:8 (NAS) be your guide “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor fulfills the law.” And draw strength and confidence from Philippians 4:13 (NAS) “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”