Christians and Debt

Should a Christian be in Debt?

The Bible makes it clear that being in debt is not God’s best for us. I haven’t found anything to indicate that it is a sin for a Christian to be in debt (unless of course you are disobeying God’s personal instruction for you), but Jesus came to set us free, not make us slaves. Therefore, when Proverbs says “the borrower is slave to the lender,” I get the impression that God wants us to be debt-free.

We live in a unique time, with unique challenges. We are inundated with so much advertising and marketing almost everywhere we go. The world is screaming a lot of things, and most of them aren’t in agreement with what God is whispering to us.

It is a challenge to live within your means. Especially when you see so many others living way beyond their means and enjoying the fleeting pleasures of the moment. It requires great sacrifice to see long term and to think beyond what our flesh wants right now.

Debt is NOT normal

I am not going to go on a tirade against credit cards or car loans right now, but we have got to start understanding that debt is not normal. Just because most of society calls it normal and good does not make it either of those.

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness…

Just because everyone else is doing it, does not make it right!! God’s principles, regardless of how few people follow them, should be our guide. Not the noise of society.

Debt is Slavery

Every time we enter into lender/borrower agreement we are actually entering into a master/slave agreement.

Proverbs 22:7

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

Just as there is a bondage that comes from being in debt, there is a opposite and equal freedom that comes from being liberated from it. I am still working on this one myself. I am doing everything I can do by being disciplined with my money and being the best steward possible. And I am trusting that God will do His part.

He wants to see us liberated from the slavery of debt more than we do. By doing our part and asking Him for help a lot of power is present to break us out of the bondage of debt.

Being Debt-Free isn’t just for us

Whether God wants everyone to be a millionaire, I can not answer. But I do know that he wants all Christians to prosper.

Psalm 35:27

…And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified,Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”

He wants us to thrive and use that which we have been blessed with to bless others. He says, we will lend to many nations and not borrow. In order to lend to others we need to get ourselves in a solid financial situation that will allow it.

That said, we need to start giving no matter what our situation looks like. It is easy to say, “Oh, I will give when I have more money to give.” God wants us to give when we feel like we have nothing to give. It is a true step of faith when you give before you have an abundance.

Luke 12:41-44

And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.

Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;

for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”

Sowing seed for the harvest

The Bible makes it clear that we will reap what we sow. Once you start thinking of that like a farmer it makes it a lot easier…

I am getting ready to plant some tomato, lettuce, herbs, and a bunch of other seeds. I know that if I don’t drop any seed in the ground, I will not get any of the harvest in a few months. But if I do plant those seeds, I can count on receiving a bunch of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and everything else that I sow.

We need to look at every dollar we have as seed. We can either spend it on ourselves or we can sow it into the Kingdom of God (our local church) or sow it into someone else’s life.

Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

It is okay to expect a harvest for what you sow. God said it. We can trust Him. Let’s make it a point this week to sow a little bit more seed, and just see what God does.

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  1. Jeff

    Excellent post!!
    One other verse that came to mind while reading your post is Malachi 3:10.

    Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! (New Living Translation)

  2. bob

    Malachi chapter 3 is a great one… I think I am going to write about it in the future…

  3. Johnny

    Nice to find this post. Just recently I wrote a rather negative post about christian credit counseling. Seems many are using it as a marketing tool rather than a point of view or belief.

  4. Mrs. Harris

    I think this is such a wonderful post. I like that you used references to the scriptures. I personally enjoy everything that has a biblical standing point.

    Proverbs 22:7 is a favorite verse of mine. Got it taped on my refridgerator as a personal reminder for myself; as well as my family. 🙂

  5. James

    the story of the poor widow is found in Mark 12, not Luke.

    • bob

      James it is actually found in both…

  6. yvette

    I agree with you that it is not God’s ideal that we borrow. However there are times when borrowing is the way chosen by God to bring us out of bondage. Consider Israel when they were about to be set free. God told them to borrow from the Egyptions. the widow whose oil multiplied, God told her to go and borrow vessels which he filled. He later told her to sell the oil, pay her bills and live off the rest. I believe that Christians can use this same principle – boorow and invest, use the profit or surplus from the investment to pay the debt and when it is paid, live off the income.

  7. Erik

    OK…I am military (active) and often have too much month left at the end of the money and struggle with the whole issue of tithing. I have a hard time when I am not sure if it is groceries and gas or tithing..Help me out…Thanks

  8. ellen

    i was just reading the book of james lastnight and it talks about faith a lot. it also says faith without works is dead/ so i got to thinking. wedon’t need works for salvation but yet it somehow proves our faith, but how. then i gotto thinking about tithing, and honestly it is an action (work) that requires faith becuase most of us go into panic mode with tithing. so I decided to try this, tithe, write a cheque instead of using a credit card, keep that money as the first thing I write or pay. then go on to figuring out the rest. I can’t pay all my bills right now either, and I’m behind but I think I’m on the right track, it takes FAITH, like major faith to tithe, so it is a work of faith to tithe. I mean we don’t do works of faith really much, but that is one we can do each month. As someone said recently, when we tithe, it allows God’s giving back to us, if we don’t open that door in faith, he does not give back what we have sown. so faith is tithing. huge faith to tithe. you can test your faith by asking yourself how sick you feel when you tithe or do you see it as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” read the book of JAMES only this time wherever he talks about faith adn works, think of it as tithing as that work. it makes TOTAL sense all of a sudden. hope that helps. I sure know it helps me. today I sent out another cheque as a tithe and it felt good, knowing that i had wrestled with my level of faith and I think I won. I feel peaceful.

  9. monic

    me and my husband have put our house on the market after only living in it for 2 yrs. I hate debt but I did get caught up in the worlds way of doing things. I’ve repented, so pray that we sell this house and find soething within our means!

  10. Raymond

    Thank you for your blogging books and this post. Debt free living has enabled our family to serve our church and community in many ways. Thank you!!