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.
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.
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.