Out of the grips of credit card debt

ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, both my husband and I left our jobs at about the same time. We had prayed about this and felt that it was the right step, even though we had only modest resources, were not eligible for unemployment insurance, and had just purchased our house. I very much wanted to be at home with our young daughter and to take the first steps toward becoming a Christian Science practitioner. My husband's employment had been unique, and it didn't translate easily to the larger workforce. We were living very simply, but when another job didn't come right away, we began to accumulate credit card debt.

Jesus taught, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). This was a reminder to us that before we did anything else, we should seek God and find out what's real. We wanted very much to follow Jesus' teachings, and it was helpful at this time to read accounts in the Bible of Jesus' followers. Large crowds of people followed Jesus as he went from town to town. Some even followed him when he went out a considerable distance into uninhabited areas. And those people felt that it was so important, so good, to follow and hear Jesus teach and see him heal, that they kept following—sometimes farther than seemed sensible or wise. When they found themselves in the middle of a desert place with nothing to eat, Jesus didn't leave these earnest followers stranded and hungry. He showed them the tender care of the Christ, God's healing truth, by providing food in the wilderness.

Our motive was to seek "the kingdom of God and his righteousness." But as our credit card debt continued to rise, fear crept in and tried to contradict Jesus' teaching. Fear told us that the first thing to be done was to get a job—any job—to pay the bills. This fear didn't feel anything like the Christ that lifted us up, gave purpose to life, and revealed to us Love's power. Fear was more like a bully that gave us dreary views and made us feel small and trapped.

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