Sometimes standing in line at a store I see the shopper ahead of me pull out a wallet filled with enough credit cards to turn into a deck. They shuffle through them, deciding which one to use; maybe deciding which one CAN be used without going over limit.
How did the little credit card family grow so large? Was it the offer of a low initial interest rate? Instant credit with a percentage off the first purchase? A pre-approved card arriving in the mail unsolicited? Ah yes, and the one with bonus travel miles to be used on that cruise which can be charged with no payments due for twenty-four months.
We can’t blame the credit card companies. It’s their business to increase our credit use; that’s how they make their money. But what makes it so easy for them to hook us aside from our desire for convenience? Are they tapping into our desire to be fully satisfied and secure in life while diverting us from the real thing?
Credit cards are not bad guys per se. They are a modern merchandising exchange method that can work well in a balanced life. Out of balance they are something else. “The work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but they cannot hear…they have feet, but they cannot walk….Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them” (Psalms 115:4-8).
Let’s not trust in them. God is our only genuine source of security and satisfaction. The little family of credit cards in our wallet? Be careful lest they become plastic idols.