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“Let’s do a test,” I said, looking at the congregation. “Is there anyone here who likes to be in debt?”
There was no one.
“Okay,” I continued. “Is there anyone here who is currently in some sort of debt and seriously wants to be free?”
Almost every hand went up. Okay, let’s say about 70 percent of the audience.
One crucial area of life that believers are stumbling today is on the area of debt. I see it as a curse because it is holding a lot of people down from freely pursuing God’s plans for their lives.
Many times, debt is a consequence of our actions and poor business and financial decisions. Sometimes, too, it can be a result of forces outside our control. Whatever is responsible for your debts, God wants you to do something about it and be free from them.
I know that the issue of debt is a serious one because we receive requests for prayers every day for debt cancellation and miracles for urgent financial needs. As I think about the situation more and more every day, and pray, I realize that believers need to sit down and learn God’s word on debt.
While I’ve received testimonies of miraculous debt cancellations, many others haven’t had the same miracles happen for them. Of course, God is not partial. He is good to every one of us. But I’ve learned that prayers are not enough when dealing with the issue of debt.
So before we pray, let’s look at a few scriptures on debt. Remember, God’s word is the key to healing and deliverance. For “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psalm 107:20)
God can work miracles on your debt, but it will be quicker when you know what He’s saying about debt so that you’re able to prevent subsequent debt trap.
Why You’re in Debt
Let’s start by saying that you’re not in debt because you’re not rich. Think about it. Those who are rich are also in debt. The truth is that if you had more money, you’re likely to still be in debt.
Yes, you can be broke and not be in debt; and you can have money and still be in debt.
So you’re in debt because the financial system of this world is configured to keep you in debt. It’s one way satan gets to keep people in perpetual worry trap.
Worldly system says: debt is a tool. If you’re in debt, borrow more money.
Finance books say: you need leverage. Learn to use Other People’s Money (OPM) to get what you want.
The banks say: we’ll give you a loan. You don’t need to use your money. Just sign here. Take our credit cards; you can use them any time; we’ll wait when you have money so can we take what you owe us.
The real estate companies say: don’t miss this property. Don’t worry; pay us slowly and progressively, when you can.
Then we read the news and hear that even our governments owe billions and billions of dollars. So somehow, we’re sold that it’s kinda cool to borrow, borrow, and borrow some more.
Our mind tells us, “If we can have the good lifestyle now and pay later, why not.” Unfortunately, that isn’t the whole truth.
You’re in debt because your mind tells you that it’s not easy to live without debt. Somehow, you grew with this mindset, you read books that encouraged it, and met a financial system that sells it every minute. So life is replaying the results of this distortion on you.
To get out of debt, you have to start by reprogramming your mind. You have to start by convincing yourself that you can live without debt and borrowing; that you would better be a lender than a debtor.
I’ve been in huge debts before, accidentally incurred, as a result of failed business and unwise agreements. I can tell you that the pressure and stress that debts invite upon us is not what God wants us to live with.
It’s understandable that there are situations when borrowing is completely unavoidable, like in medical emergencies, job layoffs, and others. But the whole truth is that borrowing and debt are inviting tomorrow’s evil today. We can choose to obey God and let each day carry its evil or continue to invite the burdens of the next day and the subsequent years on the present (Matthew 6:34).
God’s Word on Debt
Let’s start the fight on debts by looking at few scriptures and what they are saying to us regarding debts.
- The debtor is a slave to the creditor: Debt invokes a slavery status on the debtor to the creditor (Proverbs 22:7). This isn’t the position Christ wants us to be. He has paid all our debts and made us free. Forcing ourselves in debt is questioning His very work of redemption for us.
- God wants us to lend to others instead: Sounds like a paradox, right? First, we say a borrower is a slave to the lender. Next, we say, God wants us to lend to others. “For the Lord, your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you” (Deuteronomy 15:6, 28:12, Matthew 5:42). The message is that if there’s going to be anyone who will be a slave, then it shouldn’t be the people in covenant with God. By being the lenders, we demonstrate that God is enough for us and does supply our needs. This way, we can attract the unbelievers to our God.
- It is wickedness not to repay debts: – Psalm 37:21 says, “The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.” And Romans 13:7 (MSG) reads: “Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, and respect your leaders.”
Even though our legal system allows individuals and businesses in suffering to recuperate themselves under the protection of bankruptcy laws, as believers, we have a moral obligation to repay our creditors to the best of our ability. Applying the bankruptcy laws should only be in very critical situations. This is also the same as praying for debt cancellation. You need to make efforts to repay your debts. You need to pray for a divine provision that will enable you to repay your debts. Only resort to praying for debt cancellation when the situation is very critical.
- Don’t be in haste to sign a guarantee for someone: “Be sure you know a person well before you vouch for his credit! Better refuse than suffer later. Unless you have the extra cash on hand, don’t countersign a note. Why risk everything you own? They’ll even take your bed!” (Proverbs 11:15, 22:26-27 – TLB). There’s nothing to add there.
- Be faithful in the little money you have: He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (Luke 16:10-11)
- Don’t spend all your money on shopping: The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets (Proverbs 21:20 – TLB).
- Forgive debts owed you: if someone owing you money is unable to repay, and in all honesty, you can see that he is unable, the Bible says to forgive. Exercising forgiveness in such circumstances does not make you a fool. Instead by extending mercy, you obtain mercy in your matters as well (See Matthew 18:21-35 TLB).
- Be content with what you have: Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never, never fail you nor forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5).
As you can see, while the Bible did not say that borrowing or debt is a sin, it does make it clear that it is not God’s best for us. In fact, the story of the widow in 2Kings 4:1-8 is clear proof that debt can bring severe consequences for family and children. That is why the Apostle Paul counsels us in Romans 13:8 to “owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
HOW TO BE FREE FROM DEBT
To Read Further
2 Kings 4
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