What the Bible Says About Debt and Borrowing
Debt and borrowing have become an integral part of modern life. Whether it’s a mortgage, student loans, or credit card debt, most people find themselves in some form of financial obligation. However, what does the Bible say about debt and borrowing? As a religious text that provides guidance on various aspects of life, including financial matters, the Bible offers insights and principles that can help believers navigate the complexities of debt. This article will explore what the Bible says about debt and borrowing, providing guidance and wisdom for those seeking to manage their financial obligations in a biblical manner.
Biblical Principles on Debt and Borrowing:
1. Avoiding excessive debt:
The Bible advises against accumulating excessive debt. In Proverbs 22:7, it states, “The borrower is a slave to the lender.” This verse warns against becoming enslaved to debt, emphasizing the importance of avoiding unnecessary financial burdens. While borrowing can sometimes be necessary, the Bible encourages believers to exercise caution and responsibility in taking on debt.
2. Fulfilling financial obligations:
The Bible also emphasizes the importance of fulfilling financial obligations. In Romans 13:8, it says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other.” This verse highlights the significance of honoring our commitments and repaying our debts promptly. It reminds believers to strive for financial integrity and to prioritize meeting their obligations.
3. Avoiding co-signing:
Another important aspect the Bible addresses is the issue of co-signing. In Proverbs 22:26-27, it advises against co-signing for someone else’s debt, stating, “Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” This verse cautions against assuming the financial burden of someone else’s debt, as it can lead to dire consequences.
4. Seeking wise counsel:
The Bible encourages seeking wise counsel before making financial decisions, including borrowing. Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” This verse emphasizes the importance of seeking guidance from trusted individuals who possess wisdom and experience in financial matters. Seeking counsel helps believers make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary debt.
Q: Is it wrong to borrow money?
A: The Bible does not explicitly forbid borrowing money. However, it cautions against excessive debt and encourages believers to be responsible and honest in their financial dealings.
Q: Is it a sin to be in debt?
A: Being in debt itself is not a sin, but failing to fulfill financial obligations and becoming enslaved to debt is discouraged. The Bible advises believers to exercise caution and strive for financial integrity.
Q: Should Christians use credit cards?
A: Using credit cards is a personal decision. While credit cards can be a convenient tool for managing expenses, it is essential to use them responsibly, paying off the balance promptly to avoid accumulating unnecessary debt.
Q: How can I manage my debt biblically?
A: Managing debt biblically involves being responsible, fulfilling financial obligations, seeking wise counsel, and avoiding unnecessary debt. It requires prioritizing financial integrity and striving to live within one’s means.
Q: What steps can I take to become debt-free?
A: To become debt-free, start by creating a budget, cutting unnecessary expenses, and prioritizing debt repayment. Seek professional advice if necessary, and remember to rely on God’s guidance and provision throughout the process.
The Bible offers valuable insights and principles on debt and borrowing. It encourages believers to exercise caution in taking on debt, fulfill financial obligations, avoid co-signing, and seek wise counsel before making financial decisions. While being in debt itself is not a sin, the Bible emphasizes the need for responsible financial management and avoiding unnecessary debt. By following these biblical principles, individuals can navigate the complexities of debt and borrowing while striving for financial integrity and freedom.