Excerpted from Devotions for Debtors with permision of Galilee/Doubleday.

[Jesus] ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. --Mark 6:8, 9
I wonder how much faster turtles could travel if they didn't have to carry their houses with them. Without that heavy shell, turtles could slither over the rocks as fast as their cousins, the lizards. If birds had to carry such a load, they'd never get off the ground! Possessions and the debt I incurred for them are slowing me down. I have too many things that need taking care of: clothes to wash and fold and put away, plants to water and feed, knickknacks and furniture to dust and sometimes repair, so much food I don't know what's in the freezer. And worrying about paying for all those things is heavier than any turtle shell in the world. I'm going to start traveling lighter. I can get along with a lot less than I have, and being debt-free will let me move through life without a burden. For Further Reflection Write down ten things you don't need or even want very much. Decide what you'll do with them: give them to charity, pass them on to a family member, or sell them at a garage sale. Every time you get rid of something, reward yourself by listening to music, calling a friend, or having a cup of hot chocolate. Prayer Dear Lord, turn me from turtle to bird. Help me to unload my burdens today. Amen A Mind That Can Learn

Why should fools have a price in hand to buy wisdom, when they have no mind to learn? -- Proverbs 17:16
Some people can't learn because they have a physical problem that prevents their brains from accepting and retaining data.

But others -- and sometimes I'm one of them--won't learn. Although I have normal intelligence, I ignore the lessons of debt. When I receive a big payment or a windfall, I pay off all my credit cards -- and in no time, I start running them up again. When the Bible calls someone "fool," it means someone who is too stubborn to look at the truth of anything. I don't want to be stubborn, so now I'm trying to think over the lessons of debt. Debt, of course, means paying interest, which robs me of cash I need for everyday living. But what's worse is, debt robs me of peace.

I'd be a real fool to think God ever intended me to lie awake at night with a knot in my stomach.

For Further Reflection

Nobody likes to admit to being foolish. But debtors have failed to learn how to live without credit. Decide today that you're going to listen to your own good sense, and quit running up those bills. Mark this day on your calendar.


Eternal God, you have given me a mind that can learn. Now, teach me how to use it. Amen

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