Let's consider for a moment a typical scary movie. In this scene, a few friends have entered a house that they have no business being in. They are walking through the various rooms, which are dark and full of cobwebs. As the creepy music comes in, a monster-like figure appears. Everyone gets scared and starts running in fear.
So, where did they run? Did they run out the front door and away from the house? No, of course not. They ran upstairs, and probably to the roof, where there is little chance of survival.
If we watch these types of movies, we often find ourselves yelling at the screen, telling the characters not to go upstairs. But, for some reason, they never listen.
Yet, it's interesting that we frequently do something very similar in our own lives when it comes to our finances.
The creditor monster
Many of us have had to face the creditor monster, whether it was for a credit card, a mortgage, a car loan, or any other type of financing. As soon as money gets tight, we run away from the problem. For some strange reason, we think that running will make it go away, but deep down, we know that's not true.
Some of us run upstairs, borrowing more money hoping to "solve" the problem. But, we are typically robbing Peter to pay Paul, and the debt load just gets deeper and deeper until we are stuck on the edge of the rooftop with nowhere to go - but down.
In Genesis 31:20, we see that Jacob didn't tell Laban he was running away. His deception could possibly be explained by fear. Jacob may have been afraid that Laban would not part on friendly terms. Unfortunately, that is something that we will never know.
We can, however, handle our problems differently. When money problems arise and we are unable to pay our creditors as we had originally agreed, we need to be strong enough to approach them. If they are not aware of our financial situation, we have no right to expect them to be reasonable or understanding.
Granted, there will be some creditors with hearts colder than Pharaoh's, but God is able to soften any heart He chooses.
God is on our side
Although God does not want us to live in debt, He also does not want us to be stressed and afraid. We have to remember that we were not given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of sound mind. We should focus not on the problem, but on possible solutions.
In Jacob's case, an angel of God came to him in a dream and told him that it was time to go. If God approved of his move, why was there a need to hide it from Laban? Jacob had God on his side!
Similarly, we should seek God and His counsel for direction in dealing with our creditors. We should ask Him for the words to say, the proposal to offer, and the action steps to make it happen. No matter how big the debt, nothing is too big for our God.
James 1:12 tells us, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (NIV)
If we cast our cares and fears on Him, then He will carry us through the storm. What a testimony we will have when we make it through!