There is a commercial on TV right now that has sparked a bunch of discussion in the Kelley house. It’s an advertisement for a debt consolidation company in which a family lists all the reasons they took on their debt. According to the family members, there were student loans, medical bills, and private school. So they took on their debt. And by “took on their debt,” they mean that they consolidated it with one company. And there’s the discussion point.
We talked with the kids about what debt is, and how this might be necessary at some point in life, but the better way is to not take on the debt in the first place if you can help it. To which they asked the obvious question: “Why do people spend money they don’t have?”
Great question, but it’s tough to give an answer to it without sitting in judgment over people. But when we start incurring debt – especially consumer debt – it’s like we deny the reality of our present circumstances. It is as if we think, I’m not going to have this salary forever. So I’m going to live right now consistent with a future I believe I will have.
That’s foolish when it comes to finances. The wise road, I think, is to live within our current means because we don’t know what our future circumstances will be. We can guess. We can hope. We can surmise. But we cannot know. Not really.
But what if we could?
What if, somehow, we could actually know beyond the shadow of a doubt what our future holds? What if there was no guesswork involved? What if all uncertainty was removed? If that were possible, then by all means, we should live now in light of what will certainly be true tomorrow.
It strikes me that this is exactly the situation we find ourselves in as believers in Jesus. We are the people who know the future. We are those who have a sure and certain hope. We are the ones who have had all the guesswork removed for eternity:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable,undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Christians, then, should act now in a manner consistent with their future. How does that flesh itself out? Here are a few practical ways:
- We should share the gospel freely because we know that every human will spend eternity in either heaven or hell.
- We should live without fear of wars or rumors of wars because we know that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord.
- We should be free from the need to seek revenge because we know that God will bring justice in His own time and in His own way.
- We should commit ourselves wholly to the ministry of the local church because the church will last forever.
- We should invest our resources in building the kingdom because we know that investment is the only one that pays eternal dividends.
- We should seek holiness because we know we are being conformed into the image of Christ.
In each of these cases, we can find the resolve, strength, and courage to do the good, right, generous and holy thing now because we know what the future holds. We can, by God’s grace, embrace a certain future by faith and act now in a consistent manner to it. So what are you struggling with today? What attitude or action is lingering in your heart? Now consider what that attitude or action looks like in light of your sure, certain, blood-bought future in Jesus.