Friday, April 6, 2012

Paid in Full

When I was in college I received a piece of advice that stuck with me.  I was told never to take out a loan to pay for a depreciating asset, like a car, and I was told that if I did take out a car loan, once it was paid off, I should continue making payments to my savings account, so that the next time I bought a car, I could pay cash.

So that's what Hubby and I did.  We took out a loan to pay for a vehicle, and once it was paid off, we continued making "car" payments to a low-risk mutual fund.  I was totally on board with this debt-free lifestyle theory.

It wasn't until 5 years ago (my goodness, has it been that long already?), when we were able to buy our 2 year old Suburban, with cash, that I realized how freeing it felt to be able to buy this vehicle, with all the bells and whistles, which was so much more than our family needed, and not have it affect our budget one. little. bit.  At that moment, I was totally sold on being debt-free, and decided we needed to take on our last debt--our home mortgage.

It's true what the Bible says, you know, about being a slave to the lender.  In a small way, the person to whom you owe money owns you--you have an obligation to repay.  And if you can't see that, we can at least agree that your lender owns your whatever-it-was-you-borrowed-the-money-for.

The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Proverbs 22:7 (ESV)

Eugene Peterson, in his Bible paraphrase, The Message, puts it like this:

The poor are always ruled over by the rich,
so don't borrow and put yourself under their power.

Still, it seems an impossible dream, doesn't it, especially these days?  To pay off your mortgage?  At one time, I even wondered why we would want to, I mean, we get that nice tax deduction on interest paid. 

Seriously, what was I thinking?  Wouldn't it be so much nicer to have the entire mortgage payment in our bank account each month?

Still, it seemed impossible.  I mean, my parents did it, and Hubby's parents did it, but each of them have owned their homes for over 25 years.  And they're adults.  (Oh wait, I guess I'm an adult now, too).  We've been in our home for 6 years.

But recently, we did it.  We paid off our mortgage.  I can't even begin to describe the feeling I had when I looked on our bank's website and saw this:

Paid. in. full.  Talk about freeing!  No longer did we have to carry the burden that was our debt.  Suddenly, we didn't have the mortgage payment looming over our heads every month.  We didn't owe anybody anything.  And with no more debt, we are free to do whatever we want with that money.

Today is the day we remember Christ's death on the cross.  Jesus: fully human, fully God, fully perfect, suffered and died to pay off the crippling debt of sin for each and every one of us.  When Jesus said his last words, "it is finished," he could just as easily have said, "paid in full."

How incredibly freeing is that?  No longer do we need to carry the burden of our debt of sin.  It is finished: paid in full.  Praise God, we can start each day fresh, without the worry of sin and death hanging over our heads.  And with no more debt, we are free to live fully as God intended.

For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23


  1. First of all, congratulations on paying off your mortgage!
    Second of all, although I still carry a mortgage, I am free with my sin-debt paid on the cross!
    Thanks for that great reminder!

  2. You are awesome! Congrats to you and your family!


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