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What Does the Bible say about Debt?

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The Bible has a lot to say about debt but we key off of these three verses:

  • The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower {becomes} the lender's slave. Proverbs 22: 7 
  • Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
  • 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. Romans 13:7

Say you are buying a car, what should be your test to see if you can afford it? Well, to help with this we need to understand the relationship between a lender and a borrower. If you borrow money you become a slave to the lender and we must pay back the debt there is no other option, so weigh the costs before you accept the lender as your master. So what should you do?

Well the whole point is to master money and not let money master you, so first we need to understand how money masters us, money masters us in two primary ways:

1.       We buy what we do not have the money to support (do not count the cost)

2.       We borrow because we do not want to wait. We, for example, covet that car to the point where we accept a lender as our master.

Then we get into a cycle where our whole existence revolves around needing money. So what can we do to master money?

Always count the cost of everything that has a cost and that is called budgeting. Realize that if you cannot pay cash for something then you cannot afford it. This of course requires that you only buy things if you have savings to cover it in the bank. This probably sounds like a crazy concept. But wait just a minute are you leaning to your own understanding or do you trust God with your whole heart? With God the game changes and money is not a zero sum game anymore. So we should pray about everything. If you need a new car then ask God to provide it. He can do this many ways, he can put the money in your hand, he can give you the car you want at the price you can afford, or he can change your desire from borrowing  to buy a car to buying a car you have the savings to pay for.

Sometimes borrowing is just and easy way out of a situation that would otherwise force us to grow in our faith. The Bible does not say it is a sin to have debt but it clearly warns against it, so before taking on more debt wait and see what God will do to assist you.

Reality check: The average U.S. household owes $16,061 in credit card debt, up from $14,546 in 2006. Total household debt now hovers at $132,529 and debt from auto loans jumped from $20,032 in 2010 to $28,535 in 2016.