Word of advice: Never borrow money to purchase a consumable item.

Debt can essentially be lumped into two categories - rented debt and slave debt.  Rented debt is what you incur when you borrow money to purchase a lasting good.  When you borrow money for a house or a car.  What you're really doing is convincing someone that has money to purchase the item and rent it to you.  If at any time you can't pay this rent, they take the item back and either sell it or rent it to someone else.  You'll also be far less likely to convince someone else to enter that kind of agreement in the future.

Slave debt, on the other hand, is what you incur when you borrow money to purchase a consumable item.  When you buy lunch when your credit card, charge a trip to Hawaii, or take out a loan for school.  There's no asset to offer as collateral on the debt - no lasting good that the lender is "renting" to you and can take away when you fail to pay.  In reality, you're offering yourself - your future labor - as collateral.  You're selling yourself into slavery.

You get up in the morning, go to work, and collect a paycheck.  By all accounts you're a productive member of the workforce, laboring away to grow your own wealth.  But in reality, you don't own that paycheck - you get up in the morning, go to work, and fork over whatever earnings you've amassed to your creditor to pay down your debt.  We might not call this "slavery" in today's terms, but it's just a modernized form of the institution we allegedly abolished in the 1800s.

The primary difference between slavery in 1850 and slavery in 2010 is the fact that today's form is voluntary.  No one kidnapped you and sold you off.  You chose to buy that sandwich.  You chose to take that cruise.  You chose to attend a too-expensive college.

And by doing so, you turned your back on Christ.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. - Matthew 6:24

With few exceptions, taking on debt is a choice in America.  It's a choice to serve a second master in exchange for a passing, worldly luxury.  It's a choice to sin.

I have credit card debt.  I used my credit cards to buy gas so I could drive to the movie theater and use them again to buy a ticket.  I charged a trip to Canada.  I charged lunch out with friends.  I took out a loan to attend graduate school.  I made commitments to repay these debts, and as a result I am not free to serve Christ in every way I can.  I can't leave my job to go on a missions trip.  I can't give as much to charity as I should.  My paycheck does not belong to me until after my financial commitments - my masters - are satisfied.

I sold myself to slavery for a Whopper.  I sold myself to slavery for a day in Victoria, BC.  I sold myself to slavery for a master's degree.  And I spend every day trying to buy myself back so I can give myself more fully to Christ.

What bought you to slavery?