Welcome to my first ever guest post. I’m excited to introduce you to Hannah Roehrick, a Christian and a blogger at https://www.facebook.com/ourdebtfreejourney.
I appreciate her willingness to share her story with you!
I used to think that faith and finances were separate. In fact, I kept my faith separate from most “practical” things like school, work, and, well basically everything. To me, the spiritual didn’t fit into everyday life, belonging to a dimension occupied solely by church leaders and evangelists.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that God was using this perspective to prepare me for a revelation–one that would shake my very foundation, and open my eyes to a reality that I never could have imagined.
On December 31, 2013, my new husband, Chad, and I embarked on our life together. We were 27 years old, and filled with big, crazy dreams for the future. The only problem was that a debt mountain $153,000 high stood in the way of everything.
It isn’t as if this mountain came looming up out of nowhere. Both of us had relied heavily on credit cards over the years, Chad had rolled one car loan into another, and I had postponed college graduation long enough to acquire a hefty price tag (as you can probably guess, most of the debt was mine…but that’s another story).
Looking back to when we were accumulating all that debt, I can honestly say that neither of us thought much of it–not even when we got a little nervous about having to pay it back. From what we had seen of the world, everyone had debt on some level, and most people kept it around for their entire lives.
That changed the October after we started dating, when Chad borrowed a personal finance book from me that had been collecting dust on my shelf. Suddenly, he was on fire, throwing out concepts like emergency fund, budgeting, saving for retirement, and stewardship. I had heard (and ignored) all of these before, but it was the last one that really caught me.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” Psalm 24:1-2 ESV
As Christians, we are called to steward the Lord’s creation (Gen. 1:26-28). This includes our finances. We may have exchanged work to gain the money we receive with each paycheck, but the fact remains that it still belongs to God (John 3:27). We belong to God.
Like anything He gives us, God doesn’t want us to keep the money we receive to ourselves, but to multiply it and share it with others (Matt. 25:14-21, Acts 20:35). He gives it to us for the twofold purpose of caring for ourselves and for each other.
So the money that I spend at the movie theater, grocery store, or hair salon doesn’t belong to me, but my Father Who created me. When I finally realized this, it gave me great pause, because I had been spending someone else’s money, and I had been doing it poorly!
Not only that, but I hadn’t been depending on my Father to provide for me. If that doesn’t show a lack of faith, then I don’t know what does.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matt. 6:33 ESV
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tells us that we don’t need to worry about our needs being provided for. God provides for the sparrows, so why wouldn’t He provide for His children? All we need to be focused on is pursuing God–otherwise known as walking and growing in faith.
Though this fact is so easy for me to understand now, I had again missed the boat. Instead of looking to God to fulfill my every need, I chose again and again to put my faith in the financial provision of the world, a.k.a. debt.
Worse yet, I was turning my wants, like spending a semester in Southeast Asia, into needs. I needed to take out a loan so I could experience a different culture on the other side of the world. I needed to revamp my wardrobe, so I charged it to a credit card. I needed…well, fill in the blank.
Turning the pages of that personal finance book was like opening Pandora’s box. Discovering how horrible we had become at managing money was only the tip of the iceberg, the symptom of our overall problem: we weren’t trusting God. We weren’t walking in faith.
All along, our financial journey has really been a faith journey. Earthly things like business and finances–these can’t be separated from faith, not Christian faith. Because it’s the way we live our lives.
In the end, it’s all part of the same path. That’s the essence of our debt-free journey.
is a wife, blogger, debtor, and Christ follower.
She and her husband, Chad, started Our Debt-Free Journey in 2014 to tell the tale of their climb up Debt Mountain. It’s their hope that readers can use the experiences illustrated on https://www.facebook.com/ourdebtfreejourney
to avoid the same pitfalls in their own lives.