Keeping Up With The Joneses
Copyright 2006 Heaven Ministries

It's perfectly fine to want and have nice things if we don't get in over our head because of it. And it's even better to pay cash for the nice things we need and want so we never owe anybody or any institution anything. Being in debt and owing more money than what we paid for something because of interest on loans can be detrimental to our spiritual and mental health. Some families have to work more hours just to pay off their debts. Some debts never seem to get paid off because they keep buying more stuff they don't need. 

Ever wonder why God says the love of money is the root of evil? Greed stirs up dissension in all types of relationships, breaks up marriages, and causes one to lose sight of what is actually important in life. Because of the "keeping up with the Jones" attitude, even the wife feels she needs to work to support the family. But what if they budgeted their money better and didn't buy stuff they didn't need? Would that help?

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wondered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV)

Is being in debt worth having all those nice things over? Most people would say it isn't worth all the frustration and worry that being in debt does to the mental and spiritual self. Being overdrawn financially keeps us further away from Christ in that we're either so worried about getting out of debt, or too consumed with buying nice things, that we forget about what God wants for our lives. 

Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 6:24 NIV) 

It says in the bible, owe no man anything. So how do we do that? How do we buy the biggest purchase of our life without owing no man anything? We do it with much patience and due diligence. Here are six ways to buy a home without going into debt. 

1. Save your money and buy free and clear
2. Rent to own
3. Buy a foreclosure
4. Real-estate auctions 
5. Buy a fixer upper
6. Build yourself

Anyone can own their own home in this way if they are serious about staying out of debt. Buying a home without getting in over your head is a blessing from God. We ask for what we need and He will supply us with our needs. If you think you need to have a luxurious home now, and in the best subdivision then you will probably get in debt over it. 

And what about a car? We should never get deceived into buying a brand new car. Some people like the status symbol a brand new car brings them. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude isn't going to get you very far in God's world. The minute you drive the car off the lot it depreciates in value. Buying a good used car instead costs way less, and hopefully you won't get into debt over it. 

The world promotes materialism everywhere you turn, but that is not what the Christian should be racing to promote. As Christian's we should be promoting how to live our life with the least amount of stress and worry as possible. Believers are God's messengers in this world. What kind of a message are we really promoting here? The more a person becomes in debt, the harder life becomes for him and the least likely he is to go to God for the guidance his life truly needs. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you as well. (Matthew 6:33,34 NIV)

Wanting nice things is great, but if the consequences of those nice things keep us from the love of God, or loving others in the way we should, what good are those things? Being too much in debt can bring us much frustration, worry, panic and trepidation because we are afraid of losing our nice things we have spent lots of money on. This is not the Christian example we are supposed to represent to others. 

As God's children we ought to be free from the love of money so we can be free to work for God. As believers in this world we should not be working to make ourselves look good to others but we should be working to make God look good to others. Wanting nice things is not a sin but striving to keep up with the Joneses makes people turn away from God and into sin, for the love of money and material possessions will overtake the Spirit and they will lose sight of God's kingdom here on earth. 

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)