Summary: To examine what the Bible says about debt and gives some suggestions about staying out of debt
What the Bible Says About Debt
Primary Purpose: To share God’s principles about debt
They say that over 40% of Americans are in debt in any single year. I think that’s probably even higher for our area. I say that because according to the 2000 census, 23.2% of households in this area were said to be making less than $15,000 annually. Another 19.4% were making less than $25,000. With income like that, it’s hard to feed your family and provide for all necessities. The Lord had something to say in both the Old Testament and New about debt. We want to start by looking at the most important debt that we owed mentioned in Luke 7:41-50.
I have to remember that the most important debt that I had has already been cancelled as a believer. Jesus paid a debt that I could not pay. The woman who was anointing Jesus feet realized the amount of debt Jesus had paid. She realized he did it out of love for her. That is why she expressed her love and service to the Lord by anointing his feet. That is why she kissed his feet. Simon the Pharisee, however, had forgotten about the love of God and His forgiveness. He treated Jesus with contempt. I need to remember that if God were to hold my debt against me it would be something I could never repay.
What do we owe God? You ask. Suppose he sent his bill.
One hundred thousand dollars, For the Sun upon the hill; Two thousand For the little brook that runs along the way; Five thousand for the nighttime And Five thousand for the day; Six thousand for the little birds; That trill and chirp and sing; Six hundred thousand For the tiny flowers; That tell us that it’s spring; One million for the baby girl, To your heart so very dear; Another million for the precious boy; God’s given you to rear. These are the bills which we Every one of every kind forget. If God should charge you what you owe, You’d always be in debt.
So, our worship and our service and our devotion to Him should be an experience where we express our gratitude for God for canceling that debt against us. For making a way where there was no way. Jesus compared it again to a situation where a man owed money to a king in Matthew 18:24-27. There was a man who owed the king the equivalent of about 10 million dollars. It might as well of been 100 million. The man would never of been able to pay that debt. He was to be sold into slavery to pay the debt. But, the man pleaded with the king for time and mercy. In pity, the king cancelled the debt and let the man go free. God did that for us, He paid a debt that we would never of been able to pay.
Some people try to rob God though. They say they can’t afford to give of their time, gifts, worship or money. Malachi 3:8-11 says that a man can rob God by not giving of the tithe and offerings he is suppose to. We are suppose to give 10%, whether or not we are in debt. It comes with a promise, that God will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out his blessing upon us. Most Christians don’t do this however, they give out of the excess, usually about 2 or 3%. Then they wonder why they don’t have enough money to pay their bills. The Israelites were under a curse because they weren’t offering their tithes. They thought God wouldn’t might. Giving is always a act of worship. A stingy heart reflects that we have forgotten the awesome debt that Christ paid for us. You need to remember that God honors those who honor Him. He sees acts of faith and takes delight in it when we give out of faith. He will honor it. He won’t honor your robbing Him.
Debt represents a promise to pay. We should be able to keep our word. In the Biblical times, not to keep your word and to not pay a debt was worse than if you had robbed someone. Your word was everything. We should be a reflection of the one we worship. God always keeps his word. He expects us to keep our word. The credit card is not what is evil. It is only plastic. The greed and the impulsive buying is the problem a lot of times. Some good suggestions that I have found are:
1. If you can’t control your impulsive buying, taking the credit cards and cut them up. You can’t spend it if you don’t have it.
2. For big purchases, always remember to discuss it first with your spouse. That will cut down on arguments once you get home or get the bill later.