Category Archives: Perspectives

The Curse of Loans and Debts

One can have a whole other site on this topic and not get exhausted about creating a new post. In other words, there’s just a lot to say on loans and debts. To focus on the curse of loans and debts, however, is another thing. If it’s just for discussion’s sake, it can be helpful to those who are also struggling. If one, on the other hand, would just think about the curse rather than the solution, he or she will soon get depressed.

So this article intends to discuss what needs to be and leaves the rest of the writing space for pieces of encouragement. Who knows you might have landed on this page just for that purpose — some encouragement for all the depressing thoughts you’ve been having about your growing debts. Cheer up! You’ll find hope along the way.

1. I’ve Also Been Struggling With Debts

Young as I am, I’ve already been struggling with debts. I tell you, I didn’t imagine myself to be plunged in such a drowning situation. I, too, had told myself I will never suffer from debts like my mother is right now. And yet, it happened.

It started out with a thought that I really needed to have extra money for a series of events that potentially cost a real lot. Already I was not being a good steward at that time. So I was good, so good at reasoning out that I had practical needs to be met and the amount meant for offerings to others can wait. I was being selfish, and my selfishness caught me along the way.

2. It Wasn’t My First Time To Be In Great Debt

Long before this current situation, I had freed myself from debts. This means that I had once been in dire debt and by God’s grace, I was set free. By means of God’s blessing and my repentance, I finally paid off my bills and overdue payables. I then had more than enough for my needs.

Later, though, I was again confronted with bills to pay — not my own, but my parents’.  I was fine with the bills once, but I got to a point when I thought I’m not having enough to spare at the end of the month anymore. I had no savings! I thought it was time to cheat.

I reasoned out. The moment I reasoned out, I was being wiser than God. It was a fatal mistake. The first time had to have a second time as a result. In other words, I was eventually in debt, again.

The moment I reasoned out, I was being wiser than God.

3. I Don’t Want To Have A Third Time Anymore

You know how hard it is to trust a resolution once the mistake (for which that resolution was made) has been done twice.  But, really, I don’t want to have a third time anymore — I simply want to be out of debt. The good news is that this can be possible.

I have read a lot of success stories about people who once were literally bankrupt and are now enjoying financial freedom. I wish to enjoy the same, not because I want to be a millionaire for myself, but I want to simply have something else to think about each day, something nobler to accomplish than just contributing to the growing ego of a certain institution or company, something to live for that can outlast life itself.

I want to enjoy financial freedom because I want to have something nobler to accomplish than just contributing to the growing ego of a certain institution or company, something to live for that can outlast life itself.

And, I want to extend financial blessings to others. There is work to be done for people who have nothing, people who are suffering, people who are tired of having to ask what to eat next just to survive the day. I don’t want to have a third time of being in debt again because there is so much more to live for, so much to do, so much to explore, so many to bless, so much more to accomplish in behalf of others.

4. For How Can Financial Prisoners Bless?

I’ve been thinking about what fellow Christians have been preaching about financial freedom. While I do not endorse the “prosperity gospel,” I do believe that everyone who has again become a child of God (by redemption) doesn’t have to beg for bread. Still, prosperity lies in obedience, but believers — even the most faithful ones —are not exempted from economic adversities. Just recall what happened to Job.

Eventually, after the fiery trial that he went through, Job was again financially free. God has, in fact, doubly blessed him. I do believe that if Job lived in our day and age, he would be seen as a faithful tithe-giver and someone who was always generous. He would be among the richest, but he would not be a hoarder of riches. He won’t be a financial prisoner either, but a financial conduit who would be blessed in order to be a blessing.

For how can financial prisoners bless? Indeed, debt is a prison. Our goal as financially struggling Christians is to be able to settle all our debts and “shun debt as leprosy” (see Counsels on Stewardship by EGW).

We Can Get Rid Of All Our Debts

There is still so much to say concerning how, but for now, it should be enough to realize why we needed to and be assured that we can, indeed, get rid of all our debts. It can take time, and you can even be living on just porridge and bread for all that time. As the inspired writer says in Letter 4, 1877,

Make a solemn covenant with God that by His blessing you will pay your debts and then owe no man anything if you live on porridge and bread.

Eventually, it won’t matter if you really want to clear all your debts. The reward of financial freedom at the end of the day is so much sweeter than the temporal sacrifice. You’ll spend the rest of your life freely living, freely giving, and freely blessing, anyway.

God bless you and me on our individual financial commitment.

 

He Did Not Obtain A Degree

Jesus did not have an education. A formal one, I mean. Still, He succeeded.

He knew He didn’t have to have a degree.

So He didn’t study under the rabbinical schools of the day.

The reasons?

His mission did not require Him

Let’s set that right in.

Jesus had a mission. He was focused on that mission.

From the moment He had a consciousness and learned from the Scriptures and from the tutelage of His mother who He really was, He knew.

Twelve years old was He when His earthly “parents” brought Him to Jerusalem with them. They’re attending the annual feasts.

From then on He knew He must be about His “Father’s business (Luke 2:49).”

But He did not have to obtain any formal education to get into this business.

From the study of the Scriptures and from the tutelage of His earthly parents, He knew.

He did not need a degree.

His mission did not require Him.

Also, it was not His Father’s will

How did we know?

We know because Jesus always lived by His Father’s will.

“…I seek not My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” – John 5:30, ESV

If He did anything on earth that was contrary to the Father’s will, He would have qualified as a rebel.

If He qualified as a rebel, we wouldn’t have had a Savior.

We’d be doomed.

But we’re not.

“…take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33, ESV

Jesus did not obtain a formal education. He simply obeyed His Father’s will.

The rabbinical system of education was corrupt

Why would Jesus subject Himself under the tutelage of a corrupt system of education?

He would rather be home-schooled.

Indeed, He was.

But His homeschooling was never inferior. In fact, the child Jesus

“…grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon Him.” – Luke 2:40, ESV

All this wisdom He gained, not from that corrupt system of mainstream education, but from home-school.

Mainstream education was actually inferior

We know this because the “unschooled” boy Jesus, at 12 years old, was filled with more profound ideas than men four to seven times His age.

The boy Jesus was

“…sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.” – Luke 2:46-47, ESV

How couldn’t they be amazed?

He had an understanding more profound than theirs.

The depth of His answers was evidence of the superiority of His education.

He did not have a degree.

Well, He was only 12.

But still, He did not have a formal education.

And yet the kind of tutelage He had in just 12 years was already proven superior compared to the mainstream tutelage the rabbis had for 20 or so years.

You don’t have to have a degree

For the very same reasons, you didn’t have to. If…

  • You find yourself in a particular mission, and
  • God has called you to that mission (it’s His will), and
  • That mission doesn’t require any degree, then

…nothing needs to be stressed out more than the fact that you don’t have to have a degree.

So, don’t stress yourself.

But this radical mindset has quite been opposed

Yes, it is.

And it’s because people around you expect quite a lot from you.

They expect you to

  • graduate with flying colors
  • land on a high-paying job
  • help them pay the bills
  • buy them tickets and treats to trips around the world
  • retire with benefits
  • die with acronyms behind your last name.

Don’t be fooled.

If your purpose does not require you, don’t be fooled.

Not everyone is a Daniel; God has a specific purpose for you

Remember Daniel?

I guess if the Israelites had only been true to their mission, they would not have been exiled.

If they haven’t been exiled, you won’t find Daniel at the University of Babylon.

Now take note.

It was not Daniel’s prime purpose to study in that secular university.

If not for God’s providence, Daniel would not have been given the chance.

Daniel was only being true to God.

And God had faith in Daniel. He saw in Daniel someone who would not be lured by Babylonian secularism.

Daniel was safe to send to a secular campus.

And God may have a different plan for you.

Jesus did not have an education; should you?

If you seek to follow the example of Jesus, you only need to look at His principle.

If it’s the Father’s will, yes; if not, no.

So Daniel was not “sinning” against God when he studied at the Babylonian University. It was simply God’s providence, and God’s providence is one way He reveals His will.

God reveals His will in three ways

Providence, plus the other two, complete the list. God reveals His will through (see source):

  • His Word, the Holy Scriptures
  • His providential workings
  • the appeals of the Holy Spirit

And Jesus must have discerned how He was going to live His life through these agencies.

If He studied the prophecies in Daniel

—oh, just what a coincidence!—and Jesus surely studied them,

…then He must have known that He only had 33.5 years of life to spend on earth!

He had a work to do in His earthly home, and He had a work to do on behalf of the Jewish nation.

Jesus will not allow Himself to be corrupted by rabbinical teachings that He is going to thwart anyway by the time He begins to preach!

Why waste time on a corrupted tutelage when He simply had to learn fresh from the Father?

That was all He needed.

He did not obtain a degree; should you?

As you can see, it depends.

You can be a John the Baptist, Jesus’ forerunner, and stay in the wilderness in preparation for your lifework.

You can be a Daniel, God’s uncompromising prophet in a secular field which only God arranged him to be into.

You can be a Paul who, as a Saul, was schooled in “mainstream church school,” began persecuting Jesus’ followers for a misunderstanding of the truth, and was later converted upon a “pure” encounter with Jesus.

You can be anyone, but don’t be someone God has not called you to be.

No, you don’t have to obtain a degree.

Jesus did not obtain a degree.

Just stick to your mission.

And you will know. God will reveal. Keep reading and praying.