Could it really be possible to live free from debt?
Yes I know, it sounds like a fantasy, doesn’t it? But is it? Could it really be possible to live free from debt and still live at, at least the same standard, if not a better standard, than those around you? Before I begin, I want to make it clear that the Bible does not require us to live debt free. It is not a sin to borrow money. If it were, how could the Bible include verses like these?
- “Don’t charge interest when you lend money to any of my people who are in need“. Exodus 22:25 (Contemporary English Version)
- “Thou shalt lend unto many nations“. Deuteronomy 15:6
- “You can charge a foreigner interest“. Deuteronomy 23:20 (Contemporary English Version)
If borrowing was a sin, lending would be leading people into sin. So borrowing is not a sin. You can relax – it is perfectly acceptable for you to borrow. Having said that however, is there a better way? The world looks to banks (or similar institutions) to fund their lives, but does it have to be the same for Christians? Aren’t we supposed to be different from those in the world (i.e. non-Christians)?
I will bless you so much that you won’t have to borrow.
I quoted Deuteronomy 15:6, “Thou shalt lend unto many nations“. The full verse in the Amplified Bible reads, “When the Lord your God blesses you as He promised you, then you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you“. God is saying to His people – which includes us as believers – “I will bless you so much that you won’t have to borrow. In fact, you’ll be the ones doing the lending“. God repeats this sentiment in Deuteronomy 28:12, “The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow“.
You can’t be the top dog and at the same time be a servant to the lender.
In Proverbs 22:7, Solomon gives a warning as to why debt should be avoided, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender“. Deuteronomy 28:13 in The Message translation says, “God will make you the head, not the tail; you’ll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God“. You can’t be the top dog and at the same time be a servant to the lender. You just cannot have it both ways – its either one or the other, and you need to decide which you want. Let me give you one more verse that will indicate that God would much prefer you not to be in debt. Look at Romans 13:8, “Owe no man any thing“. Now you may say, “But is that actually referring to money?“, and that is a fair question. But look at some other translations of this verse:
- “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything” – Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
- “Don’t be in debt to anyone” – Common English Bible
- “Let love be your only debt!” – Contemporary English Version
- “Keep out of debt altogether” – J. B. Phillips New Testament
- “Don’t run up debts” – The Message
How on Earth can I possibly live without borrowing money?
If you still think that debt is supposed to be part of our lives after reading that list, then you are in denial. But that’s okay, as I said, it is not a sin to borrow and maybe one day you will get to the place where you can see this for yourself. But for the rest of us who can see that God’s best is for us to live debt free, the question has to be – “HOW?”, “How on Earth can I possibly live without borrowing money?”, “Well I suppose I could manage without day to day debt, but a mortgage is different, isn’t it?“. Is it? Is a mortgage any different then running up debts on your credit card? Sure the amount of money is much larger, but it is a form of debt just the same. “Oh come on Matthew! You aren’t seriously suggesting that someone can get a house without borrowing money, are you?” Well, why not? Doesn’t God say He will supply all of our needs, according to His riches in glory? (Philippians 4:19). “Yes, but shouldn’t we work and earn money so that we can get houses and other things?” What and then, pay interest to the bank for 20-3o years? Money that could have be given to God’s work for example? With regards to working, you should do whatever God leads you to do, regardless of salary.
When Peter did what Jesus told Him to do, he caught a record-breaking catch of fish.
Let’s get back to this point about working in order to earn money to buy things. There are many people who work long hours, but still have little to show for it. A Biblical example of this is found in Luke 5:5, when Peter said, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing“. The solution for Peter, is the same as the solution for us if we want to be free from debt: obedience! When Peter did what Jesus told Him to do, he caught a record-breaking catch of fish. For us, the first step in achieving debt freedom is recognising that it is God’s will and making a firm decision to never borrow any more money. This needs to be a decision that you decide now you will never back off from. That if God says He will meet all your needs, then you are going to trust Him to do just that. The next step is to believe God to be free from any debt you are in already. This could happen overnight, but it will most likely take a while. But don’t give up, keep believing God and keep meditating on the verses I have quoted here.
The foundation for Biblical prosperity is tithing.
Getting free and staying free from debt, is the first step to Biblical prosperity, and the foundation for Biblical prosperity is tithing. If you are not already tithing (and even if you are) I recommend you read my post, ‘Tithing – It Doesn’t Apply To Us Does It?‘. You can also check out topic number 7, under Audio Teachings (there is also a link below). So to conclude: You do not have to live debt free, but you can if you want to, and God will back you all the way. You can live the kind of life described in 2 Corinthians 9:8 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition, “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]“.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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