What Does The Bible Say About Debt?

beverly February 7, 2012
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My dad is a man in the Word. If I need to know something about a certain passage, I always ask him. My dad is also a man of few words – unlike his daughter. I can sometimes get pretty riled up when people describe debt as a “tool” when the Bible clearly speaks against that – in both the Old and New Testament. Does my dad get riled up? Nope. He just looks at me and says “Stacy, if someone wants to misbehave, they’re going to do it. And no amount of you quoting scriptures is going to change that.”

I wish I were more like my dad. However, I can’t stand idly by while people continue to believe lies about debt: “I have to live this way”, “I have to have a car payment”, “you can’t buy a home without getting a mortgage”, “I have to have a credit card for emergencies”. No…that’s a lie you’ve been led to believe by society – but God can set you free from that bondage if you’ll listen to what He says.

Let me get something out of the way first – I realize that some people are in debt, but now they want to get out. I’m not addressing you. You’ve realized how dangerous debt is and you’re trying to get out. I also realize that some people get into debt and it’s something they couldn’t avoid – like medical debt. I’m not addressing you either. I’m addressing those of you who still believe debt is a “tool” and can be used “responsibly.”

You might bring a tiger home from the wilderness, raise it, and think it’s your kitty cat, but that responsibly trained cat can still turn on you and eat you for dinner. Debt isn’t something to be messed around with or treated like a dinner guest.

Oh, and one more thing – I’m also addressing Christians here. If you’re not a Christian, I don’t expect you to follow the Word.

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Proverbs 22:7 – “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.”

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t know anyone who enjoys being a slave to something (except to Christ). When you’re in debt, you’re slave to your lender. You might not realize it, but they control a good deal of what you do – what you buy – where you go. You have to make sure you have enough to pay that bill this month……so you might not be able to go certain places or do certain things. Shake off that bond of slavery and live only for Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:23 – “God purchased you at a high price. Don’t be enslaved by the world.”

This links back to the verse in Proverbs about being a servant/slave. God purchased us. We are his. We should not be enslaved to Bank of America.

Psalm 37:21 – “The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.”

This points to bankruptcy. You borrow, but you don’t repay? The Bible says that is “wicked.” Do I think there are times when people have no choice but to file bankruptcy? Yes. Do I also think that they should pay back the money eventually? Yes.

Romans 13:8 – “Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.”

We should always be in debt to our brother – in love. We should not be in debt to Wells Fargo for our sea-do.

Proverbs 17:18 – “It is poor judgment to co-sign a friend’s note, to become responsible for a neighbor’s debts.”

If debt was a “tool” then wouldn’t it be cool to co-sign and help someone else get into debt? Umm, no. The Bible says you have poor judgment if you help someone else get a loan – because it’s likely that loan will be yours some day when they default.

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Is debt a sin? Absolutely not.  I realize that I sound very “hard core” above, but for me, debt isn’t something to mess around with. My husband counsels people on a daily basis who have tried to use debt “responsibly” and it backfired on them. There isn’t a single verse in the Bible where God uses debt to bless someone – in fact, it’s the opposite – he warns against it on a regular basis.

Please be encouraged. Debt isn’t something that you have to keep around like a pet. It IS possible to live debt free and live in freedom. I’ve heard from countless people that it’s only possible to live without debt if you’re rich – that’s a complete and total lie. Rich people didn’t get rich by using debt (most of them anyway) – they got rich by being smart with what they did have and making it work for them.

I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband works for our church. We both graduated from college debt free and Barry also has his Masters Degree – debt free. We are far from “rich” and yet I get to stay at home and not “work.” We were debt free, including our home, before I was 30 years old. We don’t plan on ever going into debt again. It is our goal in life to help others live free from the bondage of debt.

You CAN do it! Please let me know if I can be of any help to you (or Barry). If you need help setting up a budget, we have a free resource for you, Barry’s book on how to set up a budget – forms included. That’s available to anyone who signs up to get my daily emails. We hope it’s a blessing to you.

Live like no one else.

Do you follow the Bible’s word on debt?  Are you working currently to get out of debt?

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  1. Oh I love this post. This is what we are doing now. Paying off all of our debt and our plan is to build a house and buy land cash. It can be done. It may take us 7 years to build our house completely but it will be paid with for cash and no hi price mortgages or loans.


  2. I heartily agree with you. We were so foolish and wound up in $35K worth of debt of various kinds. This last year we finally got fed up with being slaves and paid back $10K of it. We learned an awful lot about what we truly need and even truly want and are planning to get the rest paid off this year. It took a MAJOR mind change, determination, and changing habits but it was oh-so-worth it. The worst part about being in debt is not having any money to help others.


  3. I will say that while debt did allow me to do a lot more than I could have done at the time, by the time I paid it off I was sick of it!

    I had gotten a $30,000 loan at 1% interest, to be paid 5 years after I graduated college. Sounds great, right? I was able to use it to start my Roth IRA and buy a car without a car payment at a much higher interest rate. But then I realized that while my car was essential (I used it to move from New York to Ohio, then from Ohio to Alabama, with all of my stuff I owned at the time), I really wished I had the $500-ish a month to myself. My husband had another of the same loan, so we started paying them off at double speed ($1000 per month on each loan). Within two years (we dipped into our emergency savings to pay off the last few thousand dollars, then immediately paid back the emergency savings) we were out of debt. And now we transfer our loan payment (along with the rest of our money that we’re saving) into our savings account and I get giddy over how compound interest will help us most likely be able to buy our first house (2 years from now) in cash and most likely replace both our cars in cash. Plus we’ll not have a payment, get a bit knocked off for paying in full, and not be upside-down in our loans.


  4. I agree that certain types of debt is sinful — but in the times that we live in there are also times when debt may be necessary. For example: schooling. Not many 17-18 year-olds have the finances to get an education (especially a Christian education) at hand. In Canada, there is OSAP, which is a loan from the government that is interest-free while you’re in school. I paid mine off 6-months after I graduated. My husband and I were doing very well financially until I got pregnant, lost my job due to lay-offs, and we now have to borrow some money from his parents to pay for my husbands very expensive tuition. We don’t like that we’re in debt (interest free) to his parents, but there wasn’t really any other way. On the other hand, we own our car, and have no credit card debt. So I think debt is sinful when we live beyond our means and aren’t wise with the money God entrusts to us, but in some situations (mostly school and the purchase of a home), it is necessary for a little while.


    • No type of debt is “sinful.” Being in debt is not a sin…the Bible just warns against it, stating that it does not lead to blessings.
      I would have to disagree with you on the schooling part. Yes, I have no problem with people getting a mortgage (even though we’re attempting to never do it again) and I realize that sometimes medical debt is unavoidable. But the statement that “debt is necessary” for school is not true. Barry and I both graduated from private Christian colleges debt free. Barry even got his Masters Degree debt free. He worked his butt off and my parents had planned ahead for my education. However, if you don’t have the money for a private school, you just have to go to school where your budget will allow…meaning you can work it into your monthly budget and pay as you go along. Your budget dictates where you’ll go to school.
      There are tons of programs and jobs that allow you to go to school and pay for it. Debt isn’t necessary. Here is a great article from Christian Personal Finance about how to attend college debt free:

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂


  5. This is great. My husband and I lived debt free for years and years. If things got tight, we tightened our belts and made do. And God always provided. Later, we wanted to “build our credit” and started down the debt path. We have gotten ourselves in trouble. The pressure of barely making it was nothing like the burden of debt is now. We have a plan to get out of debt but it seems totally overwhelming. How much better it would have been to stay out of debt!


    • “If things got tight, we tightened our belts.” Love that statement. 🙂 God will honor your determination to get out of debt…you just wait and see. 🙂 Pray unceasingly.
      Please let me know if Barry or I can do anything to help you out!


  6. I wish I would have been closer to God and prayed about these things when I first got married. We are in sp much debt of various kinds. debit keep postponing my student loan, we have wa to many defaulted credit cards, and other random debt. I just started praying about it this year. At my husbands pay rate we don’t have much but what we need, and god uses food stamps and government medical to provide for us. I budget our money and stick to it, nut how do you pay off debt when you can’t even build an emergency savings? I have cut down us to bate essentials, and we still can maybe spare $100 a month on a great month,and that is new. God is good and I appreciate every season, but it can be hard not to feel defeated.


    • Talia, yes it’s very hard to pay off debt when you’re struggling to make ends meet. It sounds like you’ve really cut your budget down, so the only way to really help is to make more money…even though that seems trite to say. Make sure you sign up to get the free eBook on how to set up a budget.
      Here’s a great post that Barry wrote about how to save when living paycheck to paycheck:
      And please, feel free to email Barry at any time to ask questions. 🙂 You can do that here:


  7. I hear you. I do. And this question comes from an honest and inquiring place.

    How can anyone become a medical professional without debt? I know there are stories, I don’t want to hear anecdotes. Most people do not have families that spent time and effort into a college fund. My husband is a physical therapist and, he believes that God called him to do this. He believes his desire is from God and God alone. Physical therapy school costs $90,000 minimum typically. You cannot take one class at a time. You have to do school in the way they prescribe or not at all.

    How is one supposed to get an education without school loan debt? Waiting until we were 35 or 40 to do the one thing he felt called to do seems a bit like a sham to me.

    And, I also take a bit of issue with this whole thing. The thing is, I can pull out Bible passages in the OT about debt…about the Israelite people lending/borrowing. And there are numerous mentions of a year of Jubilee when all debts were repaid…so there was debt. I also have a hard time with this because there are lots of verses in the Bible…and we just don’t do everything to the letter. We pick and choose what we think is important, what we decide is true and right…but we leave the rest alone. I guess the idea that debt is always, always, always horrible seems a bit cruel. Sometimes debt is how you get an education. Sometimes, a small micro loan is how a woman in Africa starts a business that changes her family, her village, and maybe someday, her country. I can agree that debt is not ideal. I can even agree that it isn’t the best plan. But again, I ask…how, in our country’s current state, can you do things? Education costs way too much. I hope and plan that my children will have a college savings from us to help them get started. But most people in my generation didn’t have that luxury. I would never trade in my fantastic liberal arts education just because I have $15,000 of debt from it. It changed my life. It was worth every penny.

    Maybe this is an agree to disagree thing, maybe I should let it go, but I really think that the Bible is a lot more gray than black and white on many issues. I think Jesus is a lot more loving than we like to be. We want rules, a guidebook, a specific list of what to do and what not to do. The Bible isn’t a list…it is a way of life. I guess I believe that the way of life is narrow, yet broad. And I also believe that the 1st century world was much different than ours and I think that makes a huge difference in interpretation.


    • Alaina,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and being honest about it all. We’ll probably have to settle to disagree on some things and be okay about it. Thankfully, this type of issue is one Christians can discuss together in heaven about who was right! You’re absolutely right when you say there was debt in the Bible – OT and NT both make numerous references to debt. I hope I made it clear in my post that debt is not sin. Taking on debt, for education or any other legitimate purpose is not evil. But as you said, it is not ideal. My husband is a financial counselor and in lieu of anecdotes we have the privilege of hearing real stories about financial successes and failures stemming from the use and misuse of debt.

      Before I continue, I do want to clarify that I do believe the Bible is black and white. While I may not understand everything in it and no one does, I do believe it is 100% complete and accurate, without error and relevant to us today (despite major cultural differences from the 1st century to now and to their more eastern culture vs. our western habits). It is up to me to “study to show myself approved…” (2 Tim. 2:15) and learn and grow as I go along.

      Since you specifically asked about debt for education, let me address that. School is very expensive. With no debt, my husband and I both graduated from a private University. My parents helped along the way by saving money throughout my childhood and I lived on a strict budget during college to make it work. My husband’s parents did not help with his schooling so he worked – sometimes 3 jobs at a time. We always took full course loads. I passionately believe debt is dangerous and should be avoided at every opportunity; I believe the Bible teaches debt to be in line with that belief and the verses I shared back that up. I have never seen a verse to the contrary. Debt always equals risk and while some risk is necessary, doesn’t it make sense to avoid risks that you don’t have to take on?


      • I think we’ll just have to disagree.

        I’m a seminary trained person, so I don’t come at the Bible lightly, either. I just don’t believe it is a rulebook, that’s all. I think Jesus calls us to live a certain kind of life, but I believe there is flexibility within the overarching ideals.

        And I know debt is risky. I agree. But for us, it was the way to become the people God was calling us to be in the world…strict budget or no budget at all, we could not have afforded $90,000 in 2 1/2 years when neither of us had skill sets above minimum wage. Other people have different stories, and that’s okay. I am just trying to bring up the fact that our very system is flawed. I agree that living a non-mainstream life is great, but the system itself is messed up. Systemic change is slow and tedious. My children will have college savings, so for them, hopefully the system will be different. Because I know what I know, I can change the way for the future. That’s all I can do. But I really am thankful for student loans. I’m thankful I can more than afford the bills each month because of the education I got taking them in. But it is a gamble. And I have life insurance and disability to protect myself if something happens.


        • Thanks for voicing this, Alaina. I work full time while my husband is in seminary full time and works part time. Despite a very generous scholarship, we still struggle to make ends meet (and we have a very tight budget and seek to live very simply.) I am not saying that God cannot provide, and that we shouldn’t do our part and attempt to live debt free; however, the economic system in this country is very flawed! I have seen it as God’s provision to have the option of subsidized loans from the government, and hopefully we can quickly pay them off. I also think you made a great point about the micro finance loan movement.


  8. Great post, Stacy! By the way, I thought of you today as I wrote my post on how we saved money buying our house (I know you and Barry are looking to buy a house). Although we did not put 100% down on our home, we put 22% down and for us it was a better choice financially to buy that to continue renting (the cost was very comparable), but we are aggressively attacking our student loan debt (almost paid off) and then plan to aggressively attack our mortgage debt so that we won’t spend anywhere near to 30 years paying it off. Lord willing we will be debt free in just a few years!


    • Yay Holly! That means you’re avoiding PMI – way to go! 🙂 I think home mortgages are just fine – because there comes a time in life when you don’t want to rent any more.
      I hope you’ll let me know when you are rid of that student loan debt! 🙂


  9. Stacy-
    I was just curious…how were you able to graduate college without any debt? It seems like you haven’t responded to the other commenters asking about debt from a college education. I agree that debt is bad and can really keep a person down but I have yet to figure out how an 18 year old can afford college without any debt without the help of parents or some other means which is not available to the average student.


    • Hi Kali – I did respond, but they hadn’t been approved yet. 🙂 Sorry about that.
      Specifically, I graduated debt free from college because my parents had been saving for that since I was born – my college fund paid for that. Barry’s parents did not have the ability to help him, so he paid his way through college. His first two years he went to a community college, paying cash as he went, by working a job. When he got his associates degree, he came to the same private Christian college that I attended (that’s where we met). He was able to get a small scholarship because of his grades and then he paid the rest by working as a waiter and getting in as many hours as he could – working HARD during the summer to make money.
      When he decided to get his Master’s degree, we made sure that we could pay for it with our monthly cash flow….otherwise, he wouldn’t have done it.
      Do I think everyone can go to college debt free? Nope. Do I think it’s possible for most people? Yes. Here’s a great article from Christian Personal Finance about going to college debt free:
      If you do feel the need to get an educational loan, here’s another great article from Christian Personal Finance about how to avoid some common pitfalls.

      I hope that answers your question. 🙂 It was a very good one! I should have elaborated in the post, but I didn’t want to get long winded. 🙂


  10. My husband and I went into our marriage debt free, thank goodness! We have managed to live debt free for the past 8 years. There are things we want but don’t have and there are things we have realized we really don’t need, so why buy them. We lost a lot of money that was our retirement due to a negligence on someone else’s part and we are working to slowly rebuild. We learned from that experience that you can never ever be too careful, you must protect YOUR money and not count on other people to be honest and do the right thing:).


    • Debt = risk, and I’m a weenie…so it’s a risk I don’t like to take. 🙂 The fact that there are things that you want, but don’t have, shows that you have great self control – and that’s something to be very proud of. 🙂


  11. Stacy- thanks for this post. it is so true. My husband and I both graduated from a Bible College with our bills fully paid. My mother worked to help me through. My husband [we were not married at the time] worked 40+ a week and God provided miraculous/anonymous payments a few times. We did not enter marriage completely debt free, but we have been now for about 3 years. [married 8.5] God is so good and knowing that we do not have that debt payment every month is well worth the occasional things we must decide we cannot do or have.


  12. Stacy, how are we not already friends? I think your debt post and my savings post should get married and have debt-free, savingsless babies. 🙂 Great post!!


  13. I absolutely love this post! I made some very (VERY!) poor financial choices when I graduated from high school that my husband and I still pay for. In a way, I’m thankful for those mistakes, which sounds silly, but that’s the way I feel: I ruined my credit very fast with a smaller amount of debt, making it impossible for me to get credit later and build a much larger sum of debt up over time. I’m now able to pay back the debts, get my credit back on track and not be foolish with it now that I know better.


    • I find that in my own life, mistakes are where I learn the most. Someone else can tell me something, but if I live it, it becomes something I never forget. 🙂 We should always be thankful for our mistakes because they teach us so much! Thanks for the comment Kylie. 🙂


  14. I love this post, and honestly never really thought of it that way! We had always lived debt free for the most part….paid cash for cars, no credit cards….but my husband was in the military so we lived in military housing so he just got paid less. Now that he has a civilian job we are in pretty heavy debt, but I thought we were doing good until reading this lol. The only things we have in our name are our 2 vehicles and our house, which total a pretty high amount. What you said is true about lenders owning you, my husband is wanting to be more involved with our church, but his work schedule does not allow. While he has looked at other options we can not take any pay cut until we find a way to work ourselves out of some of this debt! I would love to receive some of the tools you have!


    • Hi Kassie! 🙂 The main tool I was talking about is Barry’s free eBook on how to set up a budget. It’s available if you sign up to get my daily emails. It has all the forms included for you to print out.
      Also, feel free to ask us a question at any time. 🙂 You may find some of Barry’s past articles to be helplful…you can see those here:
      He always posts for me on Sunday, usually about debt, budgeting, etc.
      You might also consider his book about how to get out of debt: From Debtor to Better – The Details of Debt and How to Get Out.
      Let us know how we can help! We love kicking debt to the curb. 🙂


  15. Yeah – you had to publish this today!!!!!!! Just what my Devotional was about… Do you think God is trying to say something to me???? 😉
    I am in debt… years of mismanaging I guess is the true reason.
    I am also on a pretty much fixed income
    But my health is improving, the business is expanding
    So Now Is The Time..
    Thanks, Sally


  16. Oh, thank you, thank you!!! I’m going to bookmark this. I’m working on getting out of debt. In fact, the only debt I have left to pay is my student loan from college…and then I’ll be completely debt free!!! I have been out of work for awhile, so I’m lookign for a job…in the meantime, I’m working realloy hard to be good with my unemployment, making everything I can at home, to make my dollar stretch etc!!! Thanks for saying what the Bible says about debt. I think it’s something that a lot of Christians tend to ignore!!1 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather 🙂


  17. This is an interesting post!

    My husband and I are not debt free, but we do plan on attacking our debt aggressively over the next few years. It’s honestly not a lot comparatively speaking — our cars are paid for, I owe about 3500 for student loans and then less than 2000 combined for credit (mostly mine — the problem started in college when I lost my job and then couldn’t afford payments; I’d always paid over the amount due before then).

    We both agree that debt is not a place we’d really like to be in — we’re looking at the possibility of selling his car and putting it towards that (I stay at home and we really only need one).

    I agree with some of the other posters that it is very hard to go to school without debt. Definitely it can be done (in fact, my loans are only from my last year — the other years were paid with scholarships and cash, and I went to a small local school in part to keep down the costs) but part of that is at what cost?

    I moved out to go to my last two years of college and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have needed any loans. I worked to pay my rent and food and utilities and for the most part I was frugal. I could have stayed with my parents, but honestly, it wasn’t good for my health – physical or mental. (I come from a loving home, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues!) $3500 is definitely worth the cost of better health to me. And again, with the working several jobs and full time school — I physically don’t think I could have done that. I don’t possess the strength and endurance to go very far with little sleep, poor food, extremely aggravated chemical sensitivities and an even worse social life than I already had. :-/

    Also, for us we’ll definitely want to look into buying within the next two years or so. We only want a modest home, and we could buy one in our price range for 1/2 or less what we’re currently paying in rent… the good news is that we can plant a garden here to keep costs down, but we definitely want our own home that we can personalize and add livestock too! Lower monetary costs and increased productivity and self sufficiency will make us happy 🙂 Plus, we can put the extra money that would have gone to rent back into home renovations and paying off the mortgage early. It’s a win situation enough for us! 🙂


    • Kristen,

      I think it’s great you want to attack that debt! 🙂 Good luck! You sound like you have great resolve.
      And I don’t have issues at all with mortgages. 🙂 We had one ourselves, but we just don’t want another one – but we realize it’s necessary for some.
      You have a good head on your shoulders – thanks for the great comment!


  18. I’m going to go out on a limb here. But I think “using debt” is just a way to take God out of the picture. We depend on “the system” to provide for our needs instead of trusting God even right down to our college education.

    With that said, I graduated with more than $5k in credit card debt, a car payment, and almost $20K in student loan debt. My poor husband, ha! Anyways, I was not a Christian, and debt was taught to me as being a tool. Within our first year of marriage, we paid off my car and credit cards. Within 2 years, we finished off the student loan leaving us completely debt free. My husband had a minimum wage job and I had was on a VERY low salary. We made it work and got it done. Since then, we’ve remained completely debt free (four years into marriage now).

    I tell that to show I’m no saint. 🙂 But because of the experience of debt, I know better now. And I believe God’s word to be true. Debt is dangerous. It is not necessary. And it’s completely possible to do what Barry did. We have also been where we see no way for bills to be paid, but God never fails to provide. We only have to ask. Pray God sized prayers people! He loves it!


  19. I just found your blog through Heavenly Homemakers “Gratituesday” link-up. I like it!

    I agree with almost 100% of your post. I think that many people are living a lifestyle that is paid for on a wing and a prayer, unfortunately. I used to work for a bankruptcy attorney, and it was very sad to see so many clients believed they “needed” the most recent, most expensive toys in order to feel accepted by their friends, coworkers, and neighbors. But in the end, they just couldn’t afford to live the lifestyle they thought they were entitled to enjoy.

    Where I am not *completely* in agreement with you is a mortgage, though. Here’s why: We all gotta pay for a place to live. (Unless you are blessed to have someone give you a free home, but very few of us are.) Why not pay for a mortgage rather than rent, in my opinion. At least with a mortgage you’re earning some equity. I think the problem most people get into is that they fall for the advice of many loan officers and real estate agents who say that we need the biggest house we can afford. Not true! We need four walls and a ceiling. Anything else is a blessing. (Okay, that’s kinda hardcore, but hopefully you understand what I’m trying to say: we don’t need our dream home. We may *want* it, but we need to be content with what we can afford.) Many people ran into foreclosure problems recently because they had the McMansions, and they were mortgaged to the hilt of their budget. They didn’t plan ahead to think about the “what ifs”: what if I lose my job, what if I get sick and rack up some medical bills, what if there is a death in the family, etc.

    My husband and I have a mortgage, no other debt at all. In the area where we live, we’d actually pay MORE in rent, but we found a great little 1400 sq. ft. home on one acre of land. Our interest rate is 4.25%. We could never rent a place like this at the price of our mortgage. We can plant fruit trees, vegetables, whatever. The land we own can be a tool toward more self-sufficient living. We pay extra payments each month to bring the principal on the loan down.

    I understand that not everyone should be homeowners. Maintenance can get expensive if you don’t know how to take care of certain repairs yourself. People who move around a lot might not need a purchased home, either.

    But for those of us who do want to “settle down,” a mortgage can be a great tool. We just need to be careful that we don’t buy more than we can afford. Like you said, debt can be a great tool–if used wisely.

    (Another little personal note: deducting our mortgage interest on our yearly taxes is a blessing. We know that this deduction may not be available in the future, but it has helped us greatly each year so far. We tithe to our church and give to charities, but that alone wouldn’t be enough for us to itemize our tax deductions. So the interest on our mortgage has actually helped lower our yearly tax liability.)


    • Hi Stacie! 🙂 I”m not in disagreement with you. I don’t have problems when people get mortgages – it’s very rare that you’ll find someone able to pay cash for a house…but that’s our goal. 🙂 The Bible is very clear though – debt is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs….in other words, when people do have mortgages, they should attack them and get rid of those puppies. A mortgage should not be used as a “tool.”
      I also agree that home ownership is not for everyone… definitely not for the faint of heart. 🙂
      As far as taxes go, I agree that it’s great to write that interest off while you’re paying it! 🙂 Get as much back as humanly possible. My husband has counseled several people who actually keep their mortgage around instead of paying it off, in order to get the tax deduction. I would caution against that – the math just doesn’t work out. 🙂 Barry explains that here:
      Congratulations at being debt free except for your mortgage! That is something to be proud of! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and having a conversation with me!


  20. I have a question that is related but not about MY debt. A neighbor who is also a christian and we used to be really close for a some years, owes me money. She and her husband wanted to buy a concession trailer and sell icee’s in our small town. They said they had prayed about it and felt it was what the Lord wanted them to do. So they found a trailer to buy but i lent them the money to buy it. They worked at this new business for about a year, paying their overhead and me slowly back. After the year was up tho they didnt make enough to be able to continue. At that point I typed up a 4-5 sentence contract with them stating that the remainder will be due in late 2012 which our family lawyer says is valid. Some months after that she also tried splitting up my boyfriend (now fiancee) and I and when she wasn’t successful she cut ties to me. (i honestly think it was because I was quite generous with them and they wanted to continue to use my generosity to themselves and not share it.)
    She is a stay at home mom, she does things from home like child-care and she makes hair bows and tutu’s for little girls to sell online. I know they are tight with money, as is my family. My husband-to-be and I are currently on the 4th week of Dave Ramsey’s FPU. I am committed to paying off my debt which includes hefty taxes and lawyer bills from a whole different crisis with my extended family.
    My question is, Should i take her to small claims court to retrieve the $5500? That money would help me greatly either pay off my entire student loan or plan my entire wedding. I have emailed her about selling the concession trailer that sits in their yard or one of their 4 cars to pay off the debt. But I have not received a response.

    Should I just continue to try and get her to pay me thru emails and messages on facebook? Should I call it a loss on my part and she will be the one that has to answer to the Lord later? Or do you think it would be ok from a Christian perspective to take her to court?

    What should Christians do when faced with a debtor that wont pay?
    Does Forgiving a debtor, such as in the Lord’s prayer, mean forgiving the act AND the money?


    • This is such a hard question because it makes you and me really dig deep and determine how much you are willing to fight or forgive and at what point being right no longer is important. Since you’ve led me to believe both you and the person who owes you money are Christians, then you should not take her to court. 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 is the major directive given by God’s Word about how to handle a believer who owes you money. While you would likely win in court, the Bible teaches you are subjecting yourself to the law of unbelievers if you do this. The Bible is explicitly clear that only the wicked borrow and do not repay and there is very strong warning against the unfaithful borrower’s actions…but those are on her. Your position as a Christian is to seek to have her pay, but doing so through the courts is not what God teaches. So you really have a couple of Biblical options:
      1. 1. Pester her to death about it and hope she pays. Probably not all that effective and will drive her further away.

      2. 2. Share with her several of the verses about what the Bible teaches about debt and tell her that while you expect she will pay someday, it is up to her whether she wants to continue to wear the chains of slavery from the unpaid debt (Proverbs 22:7). You expect her to obey Christ and His commandments but you have forgiven her sin against you.


  21. […] | Pin It February 26th, 2012 | Author: Barry A few weeks ago, Stacy wrote a post about What the Bible Says About Debt and boy did it cause some “discussion” among readers.  There were a few key schools of thought […]


  22. […] debt, specifically addressing the major discussion points that came out of Stacy’s post on what the Bible says about debt.  I promised this week I’d talk about whether or not you need a mortgage to buy a house, which […]


  23. All I can say is at the age of 45, I am in sooo much trouble with debt. I pray all the time for guidance, and believe that it will be answered. I have made a lifetime of bad decisions, and am still paying for it. Every time I try to take a step forward I get slammed with yet another problem. Please pray that God sends me a solution soon, because the guilt that I carry is almost unbearable.


  24. forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…

    debt is the modern form of slavery. it is used to enslave entire nations.

    there is no money, only debt.

    the federal reserve bank, which is actually private and has no reserves, prints fiat paper currency out of thin air and loans it to our government at interest, mathematically impossible to pay off. every time you deposit money at a bank, they are able to lend out 9 times the amount you deposited, and only has to actually keep in its reserves 10 percent of your deposit. this is called fractional reserve banking. the bank then lends out “money” (really just debt) that never existed and expects it paid back with interest. pure profit for the banksters. these practices drive inflation as well.

    i have been looking into a movement which through various means can settle debts and break the chains in other aspects of this life. for those of you struggling with debt and/or those who desire to be free, self regulating beings, you may want to look into the freeman on the land movement.


  25. Debt is not sin? Is it of faith?
    Anyway, these are some questions I have also been contemplating, and I also share some of thoughts on the topic at:


  26. Hi Stacy,
    thanks for your post… it seems I am coming across articles, books and scriptures everywhere about not being in debt. We have a very small credit card debt which we are quickly hacking through, and a mortgage on our home. I feel like God is saying we need to get out of ALL debt… but how on earth do you buy a house without debt? I can’t imagine, it is such a foreign concept in this society and this day and age. I know with God there must be a way, but would love to hear your suggestions and ideas.
    Also, my husband sees no problem with debt (even though we swore we’d never get a credit card, we did recently, JUST to use to buy things online, and it quickly spiralled out into an actual debt.) I can’t imagine broaching this conversation with him and am very nervous about his reaction… any suggestions?


  27. This post strengthens my determination to have a debt-free life, ’cause this matter has been bugging me lately. For me, it has become a difficult matter to handle because I am surrounded with people that have been borrowing money from each other for quite a long time.

    Thank you, Stacy! Jesus be with you 🙂


  28. I really enjoyed reading this post. I have been feeling so overwhelmed with my husband’s debt acquired in his first marriage that I worry I will never be debt free. But reading some of the other comments gives me hope that I will one day achieve this goal. I am definitely feeling like a slave to our debt right now and its very stressful sometimes.


  29. This is a very interesting post and I have read through a lot of the comments but not all of them. My husband and I are strong believers in being debt free and have been debt free for our 4 years of marriage. We have two beautiful boys, 1 and 2 years old and want more beautiful children. I am battling a bit with not owning our own home, not because I have an issue with renting (I see nothing wrong with this) but I think our money could be invested into paying off our own home instead of someone elses and securing our children’s financial future a little more? We pay $350 per week in rent (which is actually toward the lower end of the current market rent) and we could be paying as little as $300 per week on our own mortgage. Surely that extra $50 per week could go toward rates, insurance etc of our own home and we would still be in a very similar financial position to what we are in now but owning our own home. I agree with all the scripture you mentioned, I just struggle with this! I feel like I’m the proverbs wife and I’d like to consider a field and buy it…out of wisdom and good use of our finances? I know the proverbs woman worked hard and earned the money, her lamp did not go out. I am a working Mummy (only part-time as our children are a blessing and I do not think God would want me away from them full time…i have a passion for children and only work to make ends meet). Often I am up till all hours doing extra work and running the house. How do we get on top…it would take us 15 years to save up for a house and that would be living off one wage which we just simply can’t do. I hope you read this as I know your post is old…I’d really like some feedback. In a nutshell if it’s cheaper to pay off a house than rent, then are you not being a good steward of money by investing into a piece of realestate?


  30. I gave someone 80 dollars to watch my girlfriends pets, while we where away. This woman used the money to relapse in drugs, We did find someone to take care of the pets till we got home. I asked that this woman pay me back the 80 dollars. I am not going to chase her down. She wants to work this debt off but I do not want her to because I have a trust issue now with her. What do you think I should do?


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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