But to be painfully pointed here, the church is sometimes its own worst enemy.  In many churches, “that sort of thing just isn’t done,” some Christians might say. After all, if we’re God’s kids, aren’t we supposed to have our acts together? Sure, we can admit to some of the socially acceptable sins: “I wish I didn’t lose my temper so easily” or “I spend too much time at the office and not enough at home with the kids.” But that’s where we draw the line. After all, many of us are “people of the mask.” When we come into the church building, our neckties are straight, our dresses are in fashion—and our lives had better appear to match up. Maybe it’s time to shine the light of Jesus on that old roach!  

When we become involved and invested in one another—and start telling the truth—we’ll begin to open up. Some of you guys need to begin a weekly men’s prayer breakfast so you can cultivate this kind of atmosphere. Some of you ladies need to get gut honest in your prayer circles. Some of you husbands and wives need to invite another couple over, pop some corn, and start the conversation. And if you don’t know what to say, try something like: “I’m sitting bolt-upright in bed at three o’clock in the morning scared about my debts;” or “My wife and I are at each others’ throats;” or “I haven’t given anything at church in six months.” 

I believe if you try a stunt like that you’ll be surprised at how the conversation will flourish. And you know what the really neat thing is? There’s a high probability that the other people will breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Me too!”

3.  They feel dumb. It’s amazing how often when I’m talking to people about their debts, they’ll stop and look at me and say, “I feel so stupid” or “I’m such an idiot.”

Here’s the fact: Being in debt and being dumb are two entirely different things!   Sadly, it’s possible to be totally out of debt and still be a dumb person! But, seriously, the opposite is also true. It’s possible to be in debt and not be dumb at all! I could share a number of stories with you of people I’ve known who were smart business leaders but got themselves into terrible debt troubles.

Granted, most of our debt dilemmas are the result of dumb decisions. But making a dumb decision and being a dumb person are two totally different things!

Steve Diggs has presented the No Debt No Sweat! Money Management and ReTooled & ReFueled Essential Life-Skills Seminars over 500 times at churches, colleges, conferences and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve at www.NDNS.org, www.RetooledAndRefueled.com or www.SteveDiggs.com or call 615-834-3063.  Today, as the author of seven books Steve is a TV commentator and fulltime speaker.  For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four grown children whom they have home schooled.  The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.