Is Debt Making You Sick?

High amounts of debt is bad for your mental and physical health. Studies are showing that
being in debt can lead to a number of emotional, psychological and physical issues: stress,
depression, anxiety, a higher rate of suicide and can put us at risk of developing high blood
pressure and stroke. Relational health is also affected by debt as families try to cope with life in
the red.

However, just as debt can be dangerous to our health, getting out of debt brings freedom, relief,
and peace. So what is the prescription? As in dealing with any other health issues, becoming
debt free requires a life-style change.

Make healthy choices for your finances:
Take Charge – We are called to be good stewards. We are to guard and tend all that God
entrusts to us – including money. (Genesis 2:15)

Practise Plenty of Gratitude and Contentment – If you want to resist the consumer debt
culture, you must stop focussing on what you don’t have. Gratitude helps you discover the
secret of contentment. (Philippians 4:11-13)

Start Counting Your Spending –Just like counting calories, you have to know where your
finances are being ‘consumed.’ Start tracking every time you spend money. (Luke 6:11)

Start Exercising – One of the fruit of the Spirit is Self-Control. If you want to be debt-free, you
have to spend less than you make and stop using debt. (Galatians 5:23)

Pay Your Debts. Snowball your debt repayment by fixing all the minimum payments. Then as
the smallest one is paid, add the payment to the next smallest. Continue until all your debt is
paid (Proverbs 3:28)

Live Free. Don’t chase after wealth which is a trap. Be rich in good deeds. Be generous and
willing to share – as this leads to true health and life. (1 Tim. 6:1-20)

[Sandy Crozier is the Stewardship Ministries Director for The Free Methodist Church in Canada]