i think we think of bondage almost too specifically sometimes – like, i think there are things that we don’t consider bondage that very well may be bondage.
it’s the same type of mentality that makes us think that our testimonies aren’t worth telling – you know, like those of us who don’t have some horror story to tell about how we were a drug addict or how hard times led us to doing really bad things like hurting people or if we had really good parents and didn’t have an abusive past to recover from.
i’m learning more and more that people are people – and we all screw up and we therefore all have a story.
i’m also realizing that there’s a certain mentality that some of us have (and i’m raising my hand here) that we make mistakes very, very consciously and therefore don’t deserve the grace or supernatural providence of God to help us in the situation. allow me to give all of this rambling a name.
this morning, i got to thinking about my debt. i’m mildly obsessed with it. i’m infuriated by it. i’m frustrated by it. i’m tired of it. i make a habit of checking on my bank account when i don’t know what else to do, because worrying about my finances has become a hobby of mine. i’ve allowed my debt to become a big mental problem – i’ve let it deter me from trying to travel, from returning to Honduras this summer (i went on a trip last year and wanted to make a return,) from investing in a new car or fixing my current one, and i’ve used it to talk myself out of donating to certain causes (like people’s missions trips or from helping people who need money.)
i’ve given a lot of hypothetical thought to the question: what if i were out of debt? would i do more things that mattered to me? would i give more? would i be more generous? more spontaneous? save more? travel more? i don’t necessarily know. but i know that this, like a lot of other problems, won’t get solved by sitting around and thinking about it, but by doing something about it.
in that, i’ve become acutely aware that debt is bondage. it’s bondage because i keep identifying by it, i keep giving it power, i keep attending to it in the way you would any other obsession.
but i don’t think of it as bondage because i know i put myself in the situation. i guess i adopt a conservative, school-of-hard-knocks style of thinking that says, “well, you’ve gotta live with it.” for some reason i give a different evaluation of financial issues (or perhaps i only currently think of it with finances because that’s the flavor of the month) than i would other types of sin – alcoholism, sexual sin, verbal abuse, anger, jealousy, greed, etc – i see debt as often times self-imposed and therefore avoidable, even though it is from the same deceitful human heart as any other thing would be.
and it’s with that revelation that i come to understand that i need grace for that as much as anything else – more specifically, that God has grace for that as long as anything else. grace may be toughest to receive on the things that are perpetual – the fruits of our mistakes that aren’t going away or won’t go away for a while. but it’s there. it’s available. it’s ready and waiting for us to say, “hey, i need this.” it’s ok to need grace. we all do. it doesn’t matter if you’re smart or dumb or social or socially awkward or tall or short or whatever, because no matter what you are you are ultimately human and you will screw up, even if your screwing up is not realizing that you screw up.
so i tell myself just as much as i’m telling any reader: posture yourself to receive grace. know that you need it. know it’s ok to need it. know that the sooner you accept it, the sooner you’ll be able to sort through the things that hold you back, and know that God is and has always been in the grace industry.