“Book Me Down!” He told the woman. That had been his language for years. He had become a well known customer in that grocery store; so popular was he that a book was opened for him, to take eventry of everything he purchased and how much he owed.
The woman started to write even before he asked her to and this hurt him especially as people had thought him to be unable to meet his need without going into debt.
The astronomical height of his bill had always surprised him at the end of every month that he could have argued it out had it not been that it was written, and with dates. After settling the old bill, virtually nothing would be left from his salary other than money for paying house rent and the electricity bill. He found himself buying again on credit! A circle he tried to, but could not break. He had prayed and fasted to no avail.
Many are in that vicious circle. A circle of shame that once entered into is difficult to come out. My wife and I were once in that circle. We had taken groceries on credit. At the end of every month, after paying the old bill we went on another circle of credit buying as financially everything would have been used to settle the previous bill. We took up organizing evening lessons to meet up, but the circle continued. We were virtually working for her! Every money that came in ended in her hands!
It was then we learnt that staying out of credit buying does not depend on the size of your income! Rather the more you earn, the more you want! For months this continued to the point we became ashamed and stopped going by her shop.We would go by a longer route so long as the woman does not see us. It got to the extent that when I saw people looking at me or laughing, I felt they knew about my indebtedness and were laughing at me. My ego was greatly punctured as a man.
We developed a deep seated hatred for credit buying and after searching the scriptures one day, we took some far-reaching measures which, today, we thank God for. You can apply these measures too and I know that as you faithfully follow them that circle shall be broken.
(1) Until you hate a thing, you may not break free from it. There will be that tendency of romancing with it “just this last time”. Yet you keep going back to it. We paid half of the bill and pleaded with the woman to give us another month to bring the balance.
(2) Take the step of Faith! The Bible says that without Faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6) You do not need ceremonies to stop! Logic will tell you to go gradual but if you hate the shame, you will not go gradual: you will stop suddenly! There will be a temptation to buy “a little” especially when the pangs of hunger threatens. But if you really want a thing, go all out and pay the price.
(3) Discipline your appetite. You will need to discipline your appetite and prayerfully believe God will supply your need. (Phil. 4:19) If it is a need, God knows and will supply it BUT NOT WANT! We ate no pleasant thing, lost some weight, people talked, but we never wavered from our goal, even when it was like God was not responding. We held on and before long we saw His faithfulness
(4) Cut off little spending. An occasional biscuit, sweets, chewing gum, etc. These loose change or coins you think are useless can go a long way to restructure your finance.
(5) Look for alternatives. Meat disappeared from our meal while our intake of beans and vegetables increased. My wife hated beans, but we were resolved on breaking the circle. We grew our own Vegetables. Rather than buy, we began to sell. If it wasn’t necessary, we didn’t buy. If we had to drink tea, we did so without milk.
(6) Cut down on your transportation! Transportation gulps a huge chunk of income.We cut down on visitation. If the place wasn’t important we never spent money going. In some cases we walked lomger distance just to save money.
(7) Buy bulk. Finally we began buying in bulk. It is a lot wiser and more economical buying wholesale.
Today, though we stopped the evening lessons and selling vegetables, we do not buy on credit anymore. And what more, meat, milk, eggs, e.t.c. It was only a matter of time and the circle was broken. And I am convinced it will be broken in your case too. Only, be steadfast. Do not waver, for a double minded man would never receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:6 -7) It may seem an impossible venture, but remember that “With God, all things are possible.” – Matt 19:26
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