I paid the credit card bill yesterday, which was a delightful experience.

I just love paying for things I’ve already forgotten I’ve purchased, don’t you?

Apparently I bought a book from Amazon that took us ten minutes of hard thinking to remember (a gift for my sister) and we went up north for our anniversary (ooh-la-la) and someone in this house (who shall remain nameless) has developed a little relationship with the vending machine at work.

Excuse me, but how do vending machines even take credit cards? How is this possible? Who decided it would be worth the effort to put in a swiper thing and a computer thing and then make it communicate with the credit card companies? I don’t understand how this black magic is occurring all over the western world.

(Side note: the nameless person would like it known that the purchases are not just for candy, and that he/she also shares the candy/not-candy with coworkers. Just so we’re all clear.)

Anyway, we bought some things and it was all very fun, and then we paid for the things and it was less fun. Dave Ramsey would still be grumpy at us because we’re using the credit card at all, but at least we learned from his rantings lectures and we pay off the balance every month. We use the credit card like fire– very carefully, and for very specific purposes. It’s a tool and we don’t take the danger lightly.

But even careful campers can lose track of a spark and set the whole dad-gum forest on fire. We’re still sitting on a powder keg of $13,000 of credit, and the bank is just hoping we’ll lose our minds and actually go buy diamond earrings while on vacation in the south of France. I can hear the forest burning from here.

Lucky for us, the thought of getting the credit card bill after we return from France sobers me right up. Suddenly a pair of $5 earrings purchased right here in Kalamazoo with money I’ve scrounged from the couch looks very appealing. I have no desire to destroy our lives with dumb debt.

credit card

However, if I look a little deeper, I’ve got another problem with that credit card. It buys me security. It provides for my needs, you know, just in case God forgets about me. What can really go wrong when I have that magic card in my wallet?

If the car breaks down, I magically have the money the mechanic needs. At the grocery store I can suddenly buy the fancy ice cream and the brand name cereal and the toilet paper made by fuzzy bears. My kids can grow like weeds into new clothing and I don’t even notice over the sound of my card swooshing through the register.

But what if I’m missing out on a chance to trust God with our needs? What if I’m insulating myself against all discomfort and want by using that card and short-changing God’s ability to provide for us? Even if I don’t use it, it still sits in my wallet and promises to take care of me when the unexpected happens, and I don’t think I should be as comfortable with this provision as I am.

Do I trust my credit card, or do I trust my Heavenly Father?

What about you? Do you have a credit card, and how do you use it?



9 Comments on When Your Credit Card Comes Between You and God

  1. Chuck Morgan
    February 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Cut it up! What’s the worst that can happen? Re centering your life and taking a risk on God will benefit you in the long run. It might not equate to immediate financial comfort but the trust you gain will be worth it.

    Oh and if you’re in the South of France, I recommend Nice. Then maybe Monte Carlo. On a motorcycle. Unless it’s raining.

  2. David
    February 18, 2015 at 5:52 am (3 years ago)

    A good point and one I had not considered previously Jessie. We did cut up all bar two credit cards a long time ago retaining the one that comes with our bank account and the Amex card that I use mostly for business. Without credit cards I could not operate my business as I have to book travel in advance. But I do recall the days before we were married when we existed without credit cards.

  3. Jessie Clemence
    February 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I leave all European motor sports to the men in my life, but thanks for the tip!

  4. tammy @ faithhopelovefood.com
    February 18, 2015 at 10:25 pm (3 years ago)

    We went through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course as well, but like you, we, too, still have our credit card. We pay it off every month as well, but I don’t like paying for things that the joy of buying has long since dissipated. Thank you for your reflections on trusting God instead of relying on the credit card for security for those “just in case” moments.

  5. memyselfandkids.com
    February 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Damn credit cards! I blame them.

  6. Jessie Clemence
    February 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm (3 years ago)

    That would be handy, yes?

  7. Jessie Clemence
    February 19, 2015 at 8:05 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks for reading, Tammy!

  8. akdalke
    March 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Jessie – I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, but I’m not really a blog commenter. (Which is ironic, because I have a blog.) (Go figure.) Anyhow, this subject just brings all the words out of me. I GET YOU 100% on this. Credit cards aren’t my issue…but my trust levels are definitely out of whack! Money is a liar…and I get too easily hung up on all the things it can buy that just make me feel a little more “whole”. I can straight up identify with your remarks about fancy ice cream and brand name toilet paper. Isn’t it the strangest thing that such nonsense can give us warm and fuzzy-like comfort?? I mean, really? Charmin for crying out loud? Okay, I’ll stop before I rant and use more words than your post. But suffice it to say. I love your writing. And money issues are suffocating. The end. 🙂

  9. Jessie Clemence
    March 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Dearest Amy, you are cracking me up because I’ve seen you pop up in a couple of places on my social media sites today, and I think we might be twins separated at birth. I can see some of your Facebook posts (maybe all of them, who knows with Facebook…) and it’s like words coming out of my own mouth. I shall begin cyber stalking you immediately, except for the blog commenting part because I don’t do that either. I barely have time to write a blog, let alone read and comment on others.