In Debt Head Over Heels

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According to “The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms,” the expression “Head over Heels,” originated in the 1300s as “heels over head.” It literally meant to be upside down. During the 1700s and 1880s it changed to “head over heels.” Originally, the idiom pretty well expressed the situation many families find themselves in currently. They are upside down financially. Things are not as they should be. Financially they are out of control – hanging by their heels. The current idiom may be a little more difficult to visualize unless you think of in terms of tumbling over and over and over, head over heels. That case, the addiction to materialism may be understood easily. Families purchase more than they can afford, get hopelessly into debt, struggle to survive economically, and finally pay down the debt, only to begin the cycle again – “Head over heels.”

Will Hutton wrote of changes in the British society, which in many ways parallel those in America. He said,

“Society is dividing before our eyes, opening up new social fissures in the working population. The first 30 per cent are the disadvantaged. These include more than 4 million men who are out of work . . . altogether some 28 per cent of the adult working population are either unemployed or economically inactive . . . The second 30 per cent are made of the marginalized and the insecure. People in this category work at jobs that are insecure, poorly protected and carry few benefits . . . [plus] the growing army of part-timers and casual works . . . The last category is that of the privileged – the just over 40 per cent whose market power has increased since 1979.” (Will Hutton, The State We’re In” (Jonathan Cape, 1995), pp. 105ff

What makes this situation possible? In many cases, it is exacerbated if not caused by the abuse of credit. The legalized problem of credit usage is actually a greater problem than any other single addiction in our country. This substance abuse is habit forming and mood altering. It gives the consumer a euphoric high of excitement and fulfillment before bringing them to a crashing low of desperation. It is a habit that is hard to break. The suppliers have countless resources and their wares are extensive. It is a common addiction that does not have a negative status unless extremely abused. In fact, many are proud of their addiction and are pleased when you notice the large stack of plastic cards in their wallet.

American’s who condemn the leaders of their country for borrowing to do business hypocritically do the same thing on a smaller scale. Individually, the problem often seems to be insignificant, but collectively it is huge.

To find the most valuable lessons on responsible use of finances you must turn to the Bible. In this lesson, we will consider a number of statistics from various news sources and then discuss what the Bible has to say about borrowing and debt.

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