We have seen over the past month, The Great Debt Ceiling Debate. No matter how you look at it; whether you are for or against it, you have to admit there were some pretty interesting discussion. I do believe that we are truly educated about the United States debt ceiling. Let me ask you a question. Can you raise your own debt ceiling anytime you like? I am reminded of the story from the Bible in 2 Kings 4:1-7. The Bible is still applicable today in solving financial debt problems. There was a certain woman who husband died who owed debt. The creditors were coming to take her sons away to make them slaves. She was distressed and really had given up hope until the prophet Elisha came into her life. Elisha gave her some key instructions to immediately lower her debt ceiling. He asked her an unlikely question, “What is in your house?” She responded, “I only have a jar of oil in my house.” He told her to go and borrow as many jars as she could and pour the oil into them. She did exactly what she was told. She poured the oil into the jars until the oil stopped because she ran out of jars. Afterwards, she came back to the Elisha and asked, “What shall I do next with the jar of oil?” Elisha said these life changing words, “Go sell the oil, pay off the debt and live off the rest.”
The revelation from this story is this: there is something valuable in your house that will immediately lower your debt ceiling. When I teach about finances, I have a debt truth. It is this: The breakthrough of debt is in your house. Most people ask me how they can identify those things that are keeping them in debt. You have to look at this with a spiritual and natural eye. Let’s look at it spiritually, Proverbs 10:22 says, The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. What things in your house are causing you to have sorrow? Could it be your home, car, furniture, clothing, credit cards, or expensive electronic items? If one of these items is causing an issue, sell it! Don’t allow it to take over your life.
Now look at it naturally. In my book, Hostile Takeover, I give readers a tool to analyze their net worth. Net worth not only determines your wealth; it can ultimately determine the health of your financial future. The net worth is composed of assets and liabilities. Assets include residences, automobiles, and items that have significant monetary value. Liabilities are short term and long term debt which includes bills, credit cards, real estate, and other properties in your possession. To get your net worth subtract total liabilities from total assets. There are three types of net worth: positive, negative, and sum zero. A negative net worth is the result of more liabilities than assets, which may mean too much debt. From the net worth picture, you can easily find what is giving you sorrow by identifying the specific item that impacts your budget.
We don’t have the luxury like our government to raise our debt ceilings. Creditors will come after us quicker than the government. The government has years to pay even decades; you don’t. The one thing that I have learned through this economic rollercoaster is that we truly have control over our money. Our control is in our hands, not the government, not Wall Street, nor the creditors.
I say again, “The breakthrough of debt is in your house – you can find the oil!”