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Break Free From the Bondage of Debt

Bob is a financial guru.  He runs the website “Seedtime” and helps thousands of readers get out of debt.   His wisdom comes from experience.  Both he and his wife Linda were each in debt before they married.

Linda recalls, “I was overspending just because I felt like it. Because it’s my money and I can do whatever I want.”

Bob adds, “I was living way beyond my means. I just saw things that I wanted, and I just bought them, and I wasn’t real good at telling myself no. I think there was an identity issue there as well, where I had my identity tied up in all these things I was spending money on.”

Bob had just started to get serious about his Christian faith when he took leave from college.  He was $13,000 in debt, had no savings and was about $250 away from maxing out his credit card the day his rent was due and his car broke down.

“I’m sitting there,” he says, “and I can’t help but cry out to God and just think, ‘I am clueless.  I have no idea what to do.  I need to know how to manage my money better so I don’t find myself in a situation like this again.’”

After he got his car fixed, he immediately started looking at what the Bible says about money.

He remembers, “The big verse that stood out to me, I think it’s Proverbs 22:7 that the borrower is servant to the lender and this just jumped out at me because that’s how I felt.”

Bob began spending less and paying off his debt.  Then he found a verse that said he should test God and give 10% of his income.

“I realized, ‘Wow. Maybe I should do this and at least see what happens,'” he says.  “So, I began giving instead of just hoarding.”  

The test paid off. Bob got a better paying job, graduated college, and started working in the financial business.  When he met and married Linda, she was a receptionist at church and already tithing, but needed help with her debt.

She recounts, “It was like he swooped in and was like, ‘We’re going to take care of this.’ So, he starts walking me through the steps. And I probably cut my spending back about 90%.”

As the Lotich’s continued to give 10% of their income, they also started to give 10% of what they owed on top of that.

Linda states, “When we were dating and we kind of started talking about this, I feel like that's really where the ‘over and above’ attitude started to creep in and started to kind of just take over my heart of like, ‘Why would we only give 10%?  This isn't really my money, it's God's money.  He's trusting me with it.  If He wants me to give more, why wouldn’t I just give more?’”

Bob adds, “And what’s miraculous is that all of our debts got paid off so much faster than we anticipated, and I’m convinced it was because of that.  I’d rather define financial success by how much I can give rather than how much I can make.  So that’s what I did.  I set a financial goal that I would be able to give away $500,000. And that was my goal.”

The couple stuck to it, even when Bob was laid off.   By then, he’d started his financial blog and was making $100 a month.  Now, he felt he was supposed to run it full-time.

Bob confesses, “In my mind I’m like, ‘This doesn’t make sense because how are we going to pay the bills?’”

Within nine months, he was making more money from his website than from the job he’d lost.  And Bob and Linda’s debt was completely gone.

“We just never stopped giving and you know I can’t help but think that had something to do with it,” says Bob.

Soon, the couple paid off their house and Bob’s website skyrocketed in value.   They’ve reached their goal of giving away half a million dollars.   Now, Bob is 37, and gives 37% of his income to God.  He plans to increase that 1% every year.

“We cannot out give God, and that’s what I just want to keep spending the rest of my life doing,” declares Bob. He continues, “Tithing is one of these things that just opens up the floodgates of heaven, and it’s just one of those areas that we have seen such breath through in that I can’t help but just encourage people in this.”

Linda concludes, “When you give into the kingdom of God you might not have a lot.  And for us in the beginning, like we didn't have a lot to give.  But God can take it and just explode it.  You give what you have, and He multiplies it.”

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