You may have realised from earlier musings that I am rather fond of photography. In our house there are three film cameras, two digital cameras and a video camera. You may ask why I have so many. Well like everything else cameras get old and if you want to keep up with the latest developments in photography you have to keep upgrading to a new model. Also old cameras have very little monetary value so rather than sell them I tend to keep them because ‘they might come in useful one day’.
During the last three years I have bought two new cameras and I really thought that my desire for new cameras was over (my wife will probably fall about laughing when she reads that). Well that wasn’t entirely true; it was just that the type of camera I now yearned for was out of my financial reach.

Then something terrible happened, a kind generous person gave me a personal gift of money to buy something I really wanted. Suddenly what was out of my reach is now tantalisingly within my grasp. It hangs like a carrot just in front of my nose. To compound my distress on Sunday 4th February it is the beginning of The Salvation Army’s annual Self Denial Missionary Appeal which encourages members to ‘Give it up for the Lord’. (The idea of the appeal is that for one month people are encouraged to go without some luxury and to give the money saved to a third world project). Like me you may have discovered that giving up something you have really set you heart on is very difficult.

The dilemma that I face is small compared to that faced by people who have set their hearts on so many things that they are now burdened with heavy debts. When you realise that on a credit card debt of £1500 the minimum required payment is only £50 it is easy to see how quickly a person’s debt can spiral out of control.

In ancient times getting into debt often meant that the only thing you had left to sell was yourself and so you became a slave and you remained a slave until you had either worked long enough to repay your debt or someone paid a ransom to set you free.

When writing to a young man called Timothy, Paul wrote ‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and men , the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all men.’ (I Timothy, chapter 2 vv5 &6). These verses say that we all have a debt which needs to be paid and that Jesus has paid it for us. It is our choice whether or not we accept our freedom or remain a slave.
God Bless You,
Major David