Let me preface this by saying, while I have been in deep debt, I have never been to the point where I couldn’t pay my bills. I have had some people really close to me go through it and I have seen how scary it can be. Just remember that you always have hope in God. He said that He will never leave you or forsake you – ask Him for help.
What does the Bible say about bankruptcy?
God’s laws supercede national and local laws. Just because lawyers say it is legal to file bankruptcy doesn’t mean that it is God’s best for us.
Everyone has a unique situation and the decision to file bankruptcy is one that really needs to be prayed about. A lot of people rush into bankruptcy because of it’s convenience.
The Bible doesn’t specifically mention bankruptcy, but it does tell us that we should pay back what we owe…
The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives.
It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
The problem with bankruptcy is that it is the Government who is saying that you are off the hook with your bills. In most cases the businesses that you owe money to probably would still like to collect payment. It is actually doing a great disservice to the companies that you owe money to. Essentially, the borrower/buyer made a promise to pay, but is allowed (via bankruptcy) to break the agreement.
I remember a guitar I sold for $800 and agreed to let the buyer pay me in installments. I ended up only receiving $400 from the buyer only to never see him again. Everyone has stories like these and knows that it’s not fun when someone doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
When someone files for bankruptcy, this is basically what is happening to each of the businesses that are expecting payment. While I am sure most of them are credit card companies and other lending institutions, it is not an excuse for not paying them what is owed.
If the businesses themselves forgave the debt, it would be a different story. Realistically, this is rarely the case.
I am drowning in debt and bankruptcy is my only option!
God knows the intentions of man and sees into what is really going on in every situation. He sees the situations where people wind up with $250K in medical debt and whether this person feels okay filing bankruptcy or not, I believe God is looking for opportunities like this to show His Glory.
If you read Hebrews 11, you find many great Godly people who stretched their faith to believe that God could do something that seemed impossible – and God did. But if they had not stretched their faith, they would have never seen the miracle.
God is great at getting us out of tough situations that we get ourselves into or that other people get us into. Ask Him for help and He will not let you down. And be prepared to to fight to get out of debt, because it is going to be a fight. Just because God is helping you doesn’t mean that it is going to be a walk in the park. But you can be assured that if you do it God’s way (even though it may take longer) you will be greatly rewarded! It is worth it.
As far as practical steps I would read articles about getting out of debt, go to the library and read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. That book has been a tremendous help to many people who thought that bankruptcy was the only way out.
What about using debt management?
I think the approach you should take is:
- Do everything in your power to take care of your debts yourself
- If that still isn’t enough, then use a reputable debt management company
- And then Bankruptcy should be an absolute last resort
We recently teamed up with a Christian Debt Management company that I checked out (there are some bad apples out there). But I spoke with the CEO (Tom) on the phone and I really like how they operate. They are a not-for-profit organization, have been in business for decades, and have an A+ rating with the BBB as well.
And basically what they do is if you have a lot of unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, etc) they will work with you and your lenders to help you get it paid off quicker than you could probably do yourself.
Bottom line: ask God for help and be open to His answer!
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