As many are aware, the interests rate on student federal loans will be rising from 3.8% to 6.8% for this upcoming school year—the average student will be paying $2,600 more. For millions of students who have already taken out loans in order to finance their education, this just adds on to their burden:Student loan debt in the United States exceeds $1 trillion and is already affecting economic decisions by young people. It is very interesting how we have to get in so much debt to acquire the American dream. That dream of having a nice house, nice car, and a great job will have to wait for many in this generation. We’ll have to work tirelessly to get out of this debt, though this debt was suppose to help us get a job that we loved–find a job that you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life they said. Huh.
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:24 that:“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” How as a young christian I’m I suppose to serve God and not serve money? My student loan debt, to certain degree,has made me, and many in my generation, a slave to money. Look, if I serve money, then I’ll get the perks that my degree promised a lot quicker—a prestigious firm job, a luxury car, respect from strangers and peers,and I’ll get out debt quicker. The bible does say leave no debt outstanding, right?(Romans 13:8) It would be wonderful to be able to get a house in my late 20s and soon start a family and save for retirement. All this is enticing. However, I’ll likely have to be dedicated to work. Dedicated to my job above all else; maybe, working 60 to 80 hours a week. There is nothing wrong about working hard: 2 Thess. 3:10 says that “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” Yet, it seems as someone who has a lot of student loan debt, and goals, it would be difficult for myself, and others, to not make their jobs an idol. Idolatry can occur in any facet of life, but when money is involved it can be quite harmful to your relationship with Christ. Money will get me what this world desires, but will it get me to what Christ desires for me?
Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:9-10:”But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” That is what I feel the danger is about this student loan debt crisis for so many of students. Because of the onerousness of being in debt causes on people, they will be more focused on getting out of debt by any means. We’ll become slaves to, if we aren’t already, to the debt. Will want more and more money because will need more and more money. This will likely affect our relationships with our families and friends, our hobbies and our dreams, but most importantly our relationship with Christ. I believe that is the message Jesus is trying to convey in Matthew 6:24: “You cannot serve both God and money.” Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” If we focus on him, then there is no burden that we can’t overcome. He wants us to trust him with all our problems. If God loved us so much to give up his only son, wouldn’t he love us so much that he’ll pull us out of debt?
Jesus understands what will be facing with this student loan crisis: anxiety, pressure to take jobs that aren’t fulfilling, delayed dreams and goals. Even with all these things, we still have God: “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” So put your faith in Christ; not the politicians in Washington whose ineptitude caused the student loan interest rate to increase. Put your trust in Christ; not the universities and colleges whose greed and pride make them more focused on getting ranked higher on US News & World report than truly helping their students. Put your hope in Christ; not money whose temptations and allure will cause you to make it a god and not serve the one true one. If history has shown anything, it is that faith in Jesus Christ will always, and I mean always, carry you through trial tribulations. Therefore, if faced with the decision on who to serve, money or God, I’m going with God–In God I trust.