Debt Principle -Summary of What God’s Word Says on Debt
If you review everything that the Bible has to say on debt, it is clear that God discourages debt and warns of the dangers of debt [Proverbs 22:7].
It is not a sin to borrow money, but it is a sin to borrow and not repay. Psalms 37:21 states, “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” The implication is that the righteous person not only repays all debts, but goes “the second mile” and gives generously.
What kind of a “light into a world of darkness” is a Christian who does not repay his debts on time? Jesus said: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) Clearly, it is God’s will that all Christians pay their debts on time.
Having seen the finances of over 2000 people since 1982, I am aware that most individuals and couples will have to borrow some money at some point, particularly for the purchase of a home.
Before borrowing any money, I recommend that you do the following.
1. Develop a budget, to ensure that you can afford the loan payments. [Luke 14:28-30]
2. Present the need to God in prayer and give God a chance [Psalms 37:7] to provide the cash or an alternative at lower cost. Often Christians buy things on credit without even giving God a chance to meet the need in a manner that is glorifying to him [Ps 107:8,9].
3. In prayer, ask God if it is really a need. God has promised to meet our needs [Matthew 6:31-33], not necessarily our wants and desires.
4. Most importantly, spend quality time with the Lord in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom [James 1:5] and God’s specific direction-i.e. does he want you to borrow the money or not? God has promised to direct us: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” [Psalms 32:8].
In summary, as shown in the diagram below, God’s perspective on debt is very different than the world’s perspective. The mindset of most people is to “buy now and pay later” or “smart people use other people’s money”. On the other hand, God’s desire is for us to use minimal debt or no debt [Deuteronomy 28:1-14], by saving for future needs, rather than borrowing [Proverbs 21:20]. God has promised that He alone will meet our needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 4:19].
Debt Or No Debt Debt
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