When the Burden of Debt Drives One’s Thoughts to Suicide

By Karen O’Connor:

Do you have a burden of debt that feels overwhelming?


Image: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About thirty years ago I sat in a meeting one Sunday afternoon with a group of people trying to figure out what to do about their financial debt and the trouble it was causing themselves and the people they loved.

One young woman about twenty-five years of age admitted to an amount of credit card debt that was greater than her annual salary. When it was her turn to share she took a deep breath and said with a tremor in her voice, “If I can’t control this habit then I’ll just commit suicide and I won’t have to think about money anymore.”

Heads turned and whispers rippled through the room. When debt drives one’s thoughts to suicide, that’s pretty bad, I thought. Could it happen to me?

I left the meeting that day shaken to the core and committed to getting my own debt under control. In my case it meant finding a way to earn more so I wouldn’t rely on credit cards to carry me from one month to the next when I ran short.

I applied for a part-time teaching position and won the job. Within months I had eliminated my small debt and was on my way to living debt-free. I don’t know what happened to the woman I mentioned. She dropped out of our group and I never saw her again. But her words of despair certainly got my attention and changed the way I earned and managed my own finances.

Over the months and years following that somber day I learned what the Bible has to say about money and the principles have guided me ever since:

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other . . . (Romans 13: 7:8)

. . . the borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

With God on your side you cannot miss. The Lord says:

“So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matthew 10:31 in the Bible).

Ask for his help and you will receive it. He will guide you to classes, books, and support groups so you too can manage your finances responsibly and live free of debt.

Take a look at this YouTube video with Joyce Meyer on living debt-free:

Also Dave Ramsey suggests reducing your burden of debt using the Debt Snowball idea: eliminate your smallest debt first, so you feel some measure of success right off and stick with a plan to eventually get rid of all your debts.

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About ThinkingAboutSuicide.com

If depressed and suicidal, get help by dialing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline. IF IN IMMEDIATE DANGER of harming yourself or someone else, please call 911.1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or (in Spanish)
1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432).
Our blog, Thinking About Suicide, offers personal stories and prayers from those who have overcome the urge to commit suicide or lost someone to suicide. We also list resources related to depression, bullying, cutting and other mental health related topics or news.
Use our SEARCH box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics. Our authors hope to encourage you and remind you that others in situations like yours have found hope and help. We hope and pray you do too. However, we also encourage you to get local help if you are suicidal: call a counselor or the suicide prevention hotline to connect personally with someone who can help you.

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