Wednesday, December 2, 2015

When a Christian Friend Goes Bankrupt

Here is a sad story that I first wrote about a few years ago. It concerns a Christian friend who went bankrupt.

In some ways it was his own fault. He had little income, and what he had he seemed to spend unwisely.

That is not to say that he indulged in luxuries or in buying extravagant items. However, rather than saving he seemed to spend everything. For example, when through circumstances he received a rather large sum, instead of saving it he took a holiday overseas to visit relatives he had not seen in many years.

So he never had much, and when problems struck – some health issues, a couple of car collisions, a sudden dip in his already-low income – he had nothing to fall back on. He started running up big debts on his credit card.

I knew that for years he had been struggling financially, and I had even given him some money, but I didn’t realize things were so bad. My advice to him was to try to find some kind of Christian debt management service, to help him sort out his finances.

But we live in Australia, and I don’t think that Christian debt management services exist here. So he received counseling from a financial adviser at the local town council, and then wrote to his bank to offer a token payment on his credit card. He had few assets, and I think the bank reluctantly accepted the offer.

But it got me thinking about Christian debt management services. Do they help?

I am sure that some of these businesses do a great job. Some people get so muddled with their finances – incurring debts from many sources – that they need an outsider to help sort them out.

But my friend had mainly his credit card debt, along with a low income and few assets. He was elderly and his chances of making much money in future were limited.

A Christian debt management service was of little relevance to him. I suspect that what he most needed were a loving church and supporting Christian friends.

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