Rev. Dr. Mark Whitlock, Jr. (File photo)

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

One of the greatest challenges in the Black community is managing debt. The Black community has one of the lowest credit scores in the country. The way to avoid the temptation of credit card debt, pay day loans, and borrowing money from family and friends is to develop a plan and discipline the mind.

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The Bible says Proverbs 24:3-4, “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

We must understand the challenges of misusing credit cards. I highly recommend taking time to assess your financial situation. After the financial assessment, then take time to develop a detailed budget, fiscal plan, and goals to manage debt.

One of the easy ways to manage debt is to simply stop using credit like cash.

Credit cards is a trick of the devil to disguise a want as a need.

The Bible says that God shall supply all needs, not a credit card.

Here are few things to avoid:

  1. Avoid being tempted to not have a financial budget. Eighty-five percent of people live from paycheck to paycheck because they don’t have a budget. Write a budget and learn to live by the budget.
  2. Avoid being tempted to use a credit card like a debit card. A credit card is like having a loan agent in the purse. We tend to spend up to the limit of the approved credit line. The credit card charges increase the cost of the product or service. The credit card is not cash. The best way to stop being tempted by credit cards is to cut them up! Use a debit card.
  3. Avoid being tempted by impulse spending. It is important to avoid situations that tempt impulse spending. Impulse spending my feel good, but it gives birth to unnecessary debt. The best way to avoid being tempted is to stay away from stores and stop shopping online.

The Bible says in Matt. 26:41, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The Rev. Dr. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr. is the senior pastor of Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale, Maryland.