As a Christian, as a Catholic, have you ever stopped to think about what the Bible has to say about debt? For a large part of my life, I never did. Matter of fact, during my college years and for a few years following college, I had completely fallen away from my faith, so it was the furthest thing from my mind. It wasn’t until 1994, that I found myself in a grocery store looking at greeting cards, that God intervened,and changed my life forever. Upon a certain greeting card, was a passage from the Bible. The passage was from Jeremiah 33:3. It read, “Call out to me and I will teach you great things that you do not know.” This powerful story is relayed in my best-selling book “Faith Finances – A Guide To Mastering The Biblical Principles Of Financial Success In Eight Steps”.
Right there, in the middle of a grocery store,God called me out. It was a very emotional moment. I re-committed myself to Christ and my Catholic faith, went home, dug out an old box that contained my yearbooks and my Catholic Bible from my high school days, and began to ravenously study the Bible for anything to help me with my problem of how to manage my finances, and to help me with all of the debt that I had at the time, which was quite significant.
Now back to the original question. What does the Bible say about debt? The Bible actually has quite a lot to say about debt, and the prudent handling of money. In all of the hundreds and hundreds of passages that I have found about debt and money in general, the Bible has nothing good to say about debt, with the exception of one passage. This passage is found in Romans 13:8, where Paul says, “Avoid debt, except the debt of mutual love …”. In other translations it reads something like, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another…”. All of the other passages refer to debt as foolish, perilous, a trap and most powerfully, as slavery. Is there anything good or virtuous about slavery?
Why does the Bible take this stance? After all, this is directly contrary to what society teaches, isn’t it? Yes! There are a couple of reasons for this. First, debt and money are some of the biggest hindrances to good spiritual health and growth. Society unfortunately doesn’t care about your spiritual health and growth. Second, society teaches that you cannot obtain anything nice without it. It teaches, that without debt you could never be happy, because you could never afford to buy a car, a house, furniture, appliances, vacations or even college educations. This is absolutely a lie!We should all look to God, who provides everything we need for our happiness (1 Timothy 6:17).
Anytime you take on personal debt, you are engaging in presumption. You are presuming what the future will hold. You are exchanging immediate gratification for future security. You are betting that you will be able to afford in the future, whatever you are about to purchase now on credit. Everything works out great, until it doesn’t (you lose your job, have a health challenge, receive a pay cut or reduction in work, etc…). Do not engage in presumption. The Bible says this is foolish. It is only by the grace of God, that anyone of us has the gift of a future. He can recall this gift at any time. Scripture says that we should pray to the Father for the things that we need, and that he knows what we need, and finally, that he promises to provide us the things that we need (Matthew 6:25-34). To better understand debt free living, contact Faith Finances.