This past Sunday I spoke on “Closing the Door on Debt”. After the message I heard a few responses that led me to expound a little more on debt. It is impossible to address every unique situation in a 30 minute message. For many, debt is a real issue. But are there ever any good reasons to be in debt? Here is my basic understanding of debt from the Bible.
Debt is not a sin – I made sure to express this on Sunday, because I didn’t want anyone to feel “condemned” if they were in debt. The Bible never comes out and says, “Don’t go into debt”. In fact, God made provisions for people who fell on hard times and had to sell themselves as servants to another to survive. They became indebted to someone else. (See Deuteronomy 15).
All debt is a form of bondage – Proverbs 22:7b says “The borrower is servant to the lender“. The Hebrew word for servant means “bondage or slave”. No matter what kind of debt we take on, we become tied (bondage) to that debt and to the creditor. It can be secure debt (owing less than something is worth) or insecure debt (owing more than something is worse). All debt is like a burden. We owe someone else…and we are bound to that oath.
Debt is not ideal – There are some things that are not sin but are still not beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial.” Debt seems to be permissible, but is definitely not beneficial. We end up paying far more for something than it is worth. Just because debt is not a sin doesn’t mean it is wise to bury yourself in it. We also have to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.
I’ll share more thoughts in the days to come… Stay tuned.