We owe what?

The Lord taught us to pray, “forgive us our debts. . .,” and that may be the tactic our nation will have to use, given the size of its debt. According to the U. S. State Department (who ought to know), we owe various creditors, as of now, over 26 trillion dollars. Trillion, with a T.

That means we owe over $210,000 per tax payer. Got it?

Actually, I’m not sure anyone gets it, and it’s doubtful how many care. In 1900 our debt was a little over 2.1 billion dollars, which ballooned to over $268 billion after WWII. We achieved the dubious distinction of 1 trillion dollars in debt in 1982. How much is that?

For perspective, if you had begun spending one million dollars per DAY when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, and kept that up until now, you would have not spent a trillion dollars. Keep in mind, our debt is not one trillion, but 26 trillion dollars. Can we grasp this?

A billion seconds ago, it was 1987. A trillion seconds ago, 30,000 B.C. A stack of a trillion one dollar bills would reach nearly half-way to the moon. And if you earned $40,000 per year, you would need to work 25 million years to earn a trillion dollars. Dizzying isn’t it?

So what’s the point? First, we are unrealistic: our fiscal situation is unsustainable. We can never pay off such a debt, and so some sort of reset, revaluation, hyperinflation, or new currency is in our future. It would strain us just to pay the interest on these loans.

Second, we are undisciplined: Think about the outcry if leaders were to cut programs and raise taxes in order to balance the budget.

Third, we are a poor example. Imagine how this impacts young people growing up today. The student debt problem is but one indicator.

Believers should work hard not to contribute to these problems. We should live within our means. We should trust God to sustain us and enable us to give to those truly in need, and to support the work of the gospel. Finally, we should save some money each month against the inevitable monetary reckoning that one day will overtake our nation.

In fact, just follow Paul’s money guidelines in 2 Corinthians 8, 9. Then, while Uncle Sam’s budget may be in crisis, yours will not.

“Father, we pray you will help us be counter-cultural and wise in our money matters. We thank you for providing for us, and we ask your grace to be generous to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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