I have always been under the assumption that debt is sinful. I always hear people quote Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Clearly, God does not want us to be in debt but is it actually a sin? Coming from a finance background and knowing how debt can be useful and even smart in certain circumstances, I’ve always struggled with this idea. I decided to look at what the Bible has to say about debt to find out more.
God Wants Us To Prosper
To prosper doesn’t mean you have to be super wealthy, but the fact that we live in America, have a home, two cars and toys for our kids already means we are super wealthy by global standards. Sure doesn’t feel like it sometimes, does it? In fact, God wants us to be well-off so we can share his truths.
If we are carrying around debt, or too much debt, it makes it hard to give more of our time (if we’re busy working), or giving (if we have nothing or too little to give), to share his word or to finance the gospel. He gave us a mind, the ability to earn, and he wants us to use it for His glory. The more we grow and learn, the better and fitter we become for heaven. Everything is because of Him!
“18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:18
“14 May the Lord give you increase, you and your children! 15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” Psalm 115:14-15
In The World, But Not Of The World
God has put us in this world to live for Him. That is easier said than done as our society surrounds us with material items that have little to no meaning besides a social status. These items which are meant to make us feel better only leave us with feelings of emptiness and regret. And if you’re incurring more debt to finance these material items, it can also bring on feelings of hopelessness and like you’re never going to get ahead. Believe me, I’ve been there!
God doesn’t want us to be persuaded by these marketing attempts and material items to feel better about ourselves. Society tells us to buy these things with zero-down and our lives will significantly improve. It’s not true! Be different from society and you will be free! Free of being the slave to the lender, free to spread the love of God and the gospel, and through God you will find your blessings will multiply.
“14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:14-19
So Is It A Sin?
Truthfully, I still have no idea! I’m sure there are several other verses out there that can help me clarify this question better but I haven’t found anything that clearly defines debt as a sin. I know God wants us to prosper and to share his word through our means and I feel that is our responsibility to do so. I think using debt responsibly makes sense, especially if it is going to increase our net worth. However, using debt to fill our lives with ‘stuff’ should be avoidable as this is really going against what God has planned for us. To read more about when it makes sense to use debt or more about what the Bible says about money, click here or here.
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