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How to Go Bankrupt
(in 3 easy steps)

Kim Khan wrote, "Polonius wouldn't have gotten very far in America today. He's the Shakespeare character in Hamlet who warned, 'Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'" Khan went on to say, "Modern society. . . is overrun with both borrowers and lenders." Statistics indicate troubling trends when it comes to Americans and money. Average households now carry roughly $8,000 in credit card debt and personal bankruptcies have doubled this past decade (The Basics: How Does Your Debt Compare @ moneycentralmsn.com). Why are so many drowning in debt? A homespun observation offers insight: when your outgo exceeds your income then your upkeep will be your downfall. We live in a high-pressure world where we are constantly told we can buy now and pay later. Advertisements relentlessly train us to believe we deserve the best in cars and clothes and vacations, etc., whether we can afford it or not. The not so subtle message is that we are not normal and good Americans if we don't want it all and want it now. After all, didn't Uncle Sam send us a "stimulus check" and instruct us NOT to use it to pay down debt or increase savings but instead to do something great for America — just go out and buy something! An ancient writer wrote words millions of people in modern America ought to dust off and take a lot more seriously — The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). There's an advertisement you won't see or hear sponsored by your local bank, MasterCard or Visa.

I don't know if I can interest you or not, but if you want to be enslaved to lenders and if you are bent on going bankrupt, here are three easy steps to help you along. First, want more than you have. That way you'll always be dissatisfied and on the hunt for a newer and bigger and better car or house or wardrobe or whatever, and likely finance it at 6 or 10 or 14%. Ignore the Bible warning – He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, Nor he who loves abundance, with increase" (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Convince yourself that happiness is in what you purchase. Prove the observation true that there was a time when people went without things to have money, but now they go without money to have things. Next, spend more than you make. It's not rocket science, folks. There was a time when people "lived within their means." Now 43% of Americans spend more than they earn each year. Yogi Berra said, "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." But inflation is not our main problem. Our problem is we want a lot of stuff we simply can't afford but too often buy anyway. Let me suggest a radical course of action — if you can't afford it, don't buy it. Unless, of course, you enjoy being broke. Thirdly, keep more than you give. But before you do so, face the fact you'll be increasing the likelihood that you'll not only miss happiness here but also Heaven hereafter. Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than receive" (Acts 20:35). Leave God and giving out and you are guaranteed to go bankrupt —at least spiritually. There you have it — a simple 3-step plan to financial ruin. And this advice didn't cost you a cent, unless, that is, you actually take it.