What does the Bible say about Debt - Bible on Money

What Does the Bible Say About Debt?

During my younger years, I was led to believe that you need debt to establish a credit rating.  To develop a good credit score you had to establish a credit history.  However, they neglected to share the pitfalls of buying now and paying later. Since becoming a Christian, I have found several important bible verses that can help you get out and stay out of debt.  I have used them all wisely since I learned what the Bible has to say about Debt.

It all started when I took a financial course at my church and then began following Dave Ramsey.  I was a new Christian and only thought God was concerned about my salvation.  However, I learned that God desires to be part of our entire life. This includes all the blessings of prosperity that he bestows upon us. All our time, talents, and treasures. But first I needed to tackle God’s view on debt.

Is debt a sin? No, but we are called to be good stewards of the money God provides. We should use discernment when dealing with money.  I have learned that allowing our money to work for us rather than rule over us will allow us to use the money wisely.  To use our money to spread the good news when we are not a slave of the lender.  To be able to help those in need and to squander as little of it as possible on things that do not transfer to heavenly treasures. However, my biggest takeaway was the rich rules over the debtor.

This revelation changed the need to achieve financial freedom. Let’s review what Bibles verses say about debt. I found eight points made in the Bible regarding Debt/Debtors.

Point #1 Slave To The Lender

What does the Bible say about owing money?  The Bible says that God sees debt as a form of slavery.  We enslave ourselves to the lender when we rack up large amounts of debt. This prevents us from using money wisely.  We cannot work for the Lord if we are constantly working for our creditors.  If our entire focus is on paying down credit cards and loans, there will be nothing left to aid in expanding God’s kingdom here on earth. Hence, the Bible says this about debt.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

As this scripture began to resonate with me, I began to see that getting out of debt was God’s purpose for my life.  I could no longer serve two masters.  Either I was going to be free to serve him or I was going to be a slave to my creditors.  I chose freedom versus continuing debt in lieu of the Kingdom of God. God calls us to be good stewards by avoiding as much debt as we can and striving for debt-free living. Besides, the weight of being in debt was so depressing. Hence, we were living just to pay bills. That was not the best way to enjoy life, not the plans God had for me and my family.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Point #2 What Does the Bible Say About Paying Back Debt

What does the Bible say about debt repayment? It is wicked not to pay back.  Many people get into deeper trouble when they try to avoid paying back what has been borrowed.  You will either ruin your credit score or you will lose a family member or friend. We should always ask ourselves which is most important.  God is very clear that debt is to be paid back.  Besides, we have a legal obligation to pay back the credit card companies and other financial institutions.  Therefore, we should work quickly to pay back the funds we owe to our lender. Debt-free living should be the goal of everyone.  The following verses speak to this truth.

“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” Psalms 37:21

It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5:5

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:7

We should be striving to be on the other side of this scenario, giving generously to those in need. Instead of building financial debt, we should be working to build up the debt of love.  Hence, love should be overflowing in our hearts.  This is what God wants from us.  Love as he has loved us. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Point # 3 What does the Bible Say About the debt of Cosigning

God also does not want us to take on the debt of others.  I have been asked many times to co-sign on the future debt of others.  I said no all but once.  And unfortunately, once was all it took.  Yes, I got stuck with the bill.  Luckily, God provided and I was able to pay it off quickly. However, it could have been a disaster. I had helped one of my children get an apartment and was on the hook for the unpaid balance.  Unless you have the funds available, I suggest that you never bind yourself to anyone financially other than a trusted partner with whom you share a budget.  Here is what the Bible clearly says about this debt.

“Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; Proverbs 22:26

if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” Proverbs 22:27

And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. Deuteronomy 24:12

Point #4 Everything belongs to God

Being consumed with money when we are in debt takes our focus off God.  When we were in debt, we could not see beyond our focus on how we are going to pay our bills, and where were we going to find the extra money.  Once we started to focus on God things began to turn around. Hence, we put God first and began to plan our money around what the Bible says about debt.  We began to tithe, and God began to bless us.  I learned that everything belongs to God. However, if we are overwhelmed with debt that leaves nothing to give to those in need like our children, family, friends, or neighbor.

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Deuteronomy 10:14

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22

Tithing With What Belongs to God

The love of money prevents us from being able to see that all belongs to God. We are merely stewards of all that God provides.  A man of God once told me that when he was tithing, he was able to pay his bills. However, when he stopped tithing there was never enough.  He felt he had lost the blessing from God when he felt he could not afford to tithe. Tithing or giving generously is a command from God.  It is also the one time we can test the Lord.

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10

I have tested God so many times on this and God’s word has always been faithful to me. God found so many creative ways to send me money in a timely manner.  Money was sent as a gift one time. Another time unexpected money was sent as a refund for an overpayment of my mortgage insurance. I could go on.   However, I am in awe of God’s great provisions for me and my family.

Point #5 What Does The Bible Say About Debt and Interest

I have loaned money to my family and have never asked for interest.  Not sure why anyone would want to add on extra money when the person borrowing is already having a hard time.  A fellow Israelite was commanded to never charge interest for a debt owed. Loaning money to family or friends is not something we should do out of profit.  We are not a bank or a loan shark. When we lend it should be to help them get back on their feet. The fear of the Lord should lead you to be merciful.  Besides, it is considered a detestable thing to God. Therefore, have mercy on your poor brother or sister in need. God has been merciful to you.

Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. Leviticus 25:36

He lends at interest and takes a profit. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head. Ezekiel 18:13

Point #6 The Bible Says We Should Not Oppress The Borrower

We should treat everyone that is seeking help from us righteously with empathy and compassion.  It sometimes takes a lot for people to humble themselves to ask for help. Therefore, we are to give generously to those in need. We should not hold it over their heads or make demands from them because they owe us money.  Do not feel that someone owes you because they owe you money.  We should also not require any collateral for the money borrowed.  What the Bible says about debt in this circumstance is that we don’t rob others, but we give to them.

We must remember that our ability to give comes from the wealth created by God and we must be good stewards.  Finally, we should not share this information with others. Thereby, making this information common knowledge and an embarrassment for the person in debt. God will pour out his blessings so that what you could ever give will be far surpassed. Here are scriptures to support God’s truth.

He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. Ezekiel 18:16

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Point #7 Forgive Debt

Sometimes we just must forgive a debt. As much as the person may want to pay your back.  They simply cannot, in this case canceling debts make sense. What does the Bible say about debt forgiveness?  In the seventh year, cancel the debt. However, sometimes I know upfront that the person does not have the ability to pay back. In this case, we must decide in our hearts that it is a gift. God would prefer that we look to him for the return of this money.  God has found many creative ways to bless me with money when I least expect it.

However, we should never loan money that we cannot do without no matter what the circumstances. This will always force us to try to get the money back. Everything will go downhill from there.  However, I also believe that if we can give, we should treat each loan to a family member or friend in need as a gift.  If they return it, you are blessed if they don’t you are also blessed. This should be part of the good works that overflow from God’s abundance to us. Hence, we always feel good when we do good.

Then Moses commanded them: “At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, Deuteronomy 31:10

The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. Matthew 18:27

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. Proverbs 11:13

Point #8 God Forgives Our Debt

This leads me to God and forgiveness. The Bible clearly states that God forgives our debt as we forgive our debtors. If both parties maintain biblical principles, then the lending and borrowing of money should not cause any issues.  However, if it does remember to forgive. I understand that God has placed us in this situation for us to give of our time, talents, and treasure.  Those borrowing should strive to make every effort to pay back.  However, if they are unable, they should ask for forgiveness. The Bible says that we should forgive the debt. Therefore, we should practice the release of debts of others. Trust in God that he will provide more than enough for our needs if the funds are not returned.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

We are blessed to be a blessing to others.  Our heavenly Father desires us to be generous to others. However, it starts with us being good stewards rather than foolish men squandering what we have. A good man that wants to avoid being like poor people would have enough money saved in an emergency fund. He would eliminate all credit card debt. Money management is key to improving our financial situation.

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Proverbs 21:20

Money becomes the root of all kinds of evil when we love money.  It can lead to hoarding, selfishness, stinginess, wicked thought, and a poor spirit.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10

We are God’s Greatest Treasure

One last thought. We are God’s greatest treasure, and He wants a relationship with us throughout eternity. God has made us His inheritance. His holy people. God sent Christ Jesus to bring us this good news of eternal life as told in the New Testaments. True riches can be found in how the righteous give not with a grudging heart but by the will of God. The main Biblical principles include loving God and loving others. The weight of debt can feel like death as the wages of sin. However, God forgives all our debt as we should forgive the debt of others. I pray that this truth enlightens you and brings you the hope shared in the New Testament by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people Ephesians 1:18

You may also enjoy:

Giving, Lending, and Borrowing

Slave To The Lender

What Does Malachi Say About Tithing?

Peace and joy,

Sabrina

56 thoughts on “What Does the Bible Say About Debt?”

  1. Inspiring post! Debt can be so many things in our lives.. while most think of money, I drift to personal debt.. food for thought on handling and being in debt! Thank you for sharing your insight!

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      Yes, debt can be many things. We can owe many things to others in our lifetime. Thank you for sharing.

  2. These are beautiful points on money. I think it’s so compassionate when someone can give without thought of payback… or as you stated, strictly a gift.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      Yes, we are called to serve. This is just one way that we can serve others. It is truly a gift from God.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      Me too! The financial world would be so different if we started out all knowing how to handle our finances. I believe there would be way more debt-free people.

  3. I wish they would teach finance and debt in school. We teach our 4 boys on how to respect the money so they don’t end-up in debt. Very interesting read.

  4. We are quickly working towards a debt free life and on towards financial freedom. Our kids are still young and I’m excited to teach them how to save and invest thier money now to prepare them for the future.

  5. We have a small amount of credit card debt only because those cards have 0 interest. We used them for more expensive necessities like brakes and will have them paid off before any interest accrues. I find it amusing that we constantly receive loan offers to pay off our debt.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      That is a great use of credit. Some people think using credit cards are bad. I don’t. I use them then pay them off each month. No interest. No Debt. As for loan offers, same here. They are just trying to tempt you. You got this. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’m so glad I’ve read your article, debt has always been a problem for me, and I am going to reread proverbs and Ezekial. I found your writing very refreshing and helpful. I’ve bookmarked your website and will come back regularly.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      Hi Lou, Thanks for your kind words. It is my pleasure to help you and others. I will pray for you. God is on your side.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      So have I. I have tried my best to share all the lessons and knowledge I have acquired over the years with each and every one of them. I hope I can help at least one person. Thanks for sharing.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      Hi Kendra, I will pray for you too. Congratulations! You are clearly moving in the right direction. Thanks for your support.

  7. I had a realization about God being apart of our whole lives as well, just a few years ago. It was very eye opening to see that he wants us debt free. Then we truly can serve Him fully. Great post with good scriptural backup.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      God sat me down to talk about money to me as well. I am ever so glad He did. Debt-free living allows us to do so much more for God. Thanks for sharing. I try very hard to base everything on God’s view.

  8. I needed to read this. I am working my way out of debt and it was good to know how debt is perceived spiritually. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      Yes, God has a lot to say about Money. He wants us to be totally free. God is walking with you on your journey to becoming debt-free. God bless you and thanks for sharing.

  9. I needed to read this. I am working my way out of debt and it was good to know how debt is perceived spiritually. Thank you for sharing this. Pray for me cause I am going in on my debt.

  10. Great advice! My husband and I are working on paying down our debt. What Scripture teaches about debt is so true. It really does make one feel like a slave, bound by stress and concern. So we’re moving forward one step at a time out of bondage to freedom, and it feels so great every time we’re able to pay off something!

    1. sabrinaanthony.media

      God wants us to be free in all aspects of our life. Mind, Body, and Sprit. God will see you through. God bless. Thanks for sharing.

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