No matter how hard I tried to stick to the budget, I always end up spending more than I make. Taking personal loans or carrying forward the credit card balance was no big deal. I took my money for granted. Not until I found out what God thinks about debt. The biblical perspectives on money now motivate me to stay out of debt.
Isn’t it obvious that debt arises from misuse of money?
Debt brings with it worry, stress and distracts you from doing God’s true work. A peaceful life, without debt, seems impossible many these days but it is possible. Here’s what to do.
I’m a Christian in Debt. What do I do?
Many Christians wrongly believe God will bail you out of debt. On the contrary, the bible has many warnings on borrowing money and gives wise instructions on money:
- It doesn’t belong to us, we are only stewards (a person used to manage another’s property)
- We are accountable for how we use our money.
- The Bible doesn’t advise you make investments on borrowed money.
- It also never states that God will pay for all you “want”.
Remember, in Matthew 6:24 the Lord clearly states we can’t serve two masters – money and God. If you love money, then you hate God. So, take a moment to reflect on how you feel about money in your heart.
It’s a Heart Issue
Wha..? Yes, this addiction to spending money unnecessarily stems from a problem in your heart.
You can blame the devil all you want. The enemy uses commercialism as one of his weapons too. But it’s not the case entirely. It’s what’s in your heart that makes you act on these temptations. It can trick you into buying things you don’t need. Simply making a budget, a financial plan or anything “earthly” is NOT ENOUGH to get you out of debt. You need to transform your heart, first.
Painful Ingredients that Ruin Your Heart
According to David Tripp, the author of one of my favorite book SEX & MONEY, says these ingredients ruin your heart, and I agree.
When you are grateful or thankful for what you have, then there is no need to gain more possessions. Do you really need another pair of jeans? Do you really need those new shoes? You need not buy things when you can’t even afford it.
You’ve had a very hard day at work. So do you think you really deserve eating out? Must you indulge in alcohol to drown your sorrows in? The truth is we deserve nothing. The way we manage our money, treat people and all living creatures, we deserve nothing from God.
And yet, God always give us what we need.
When Debt is Inevitable
During times of medical emergency or a layoff, inevitably you may have to borrow money. In these times, you need to remember the biblical principles given by God about debt.
- Not paying back the money you borrowed is wrong. According to Psalm 37:21, “The wicked borrow and do not repay.” This biblical concept should force you to pay your credit card bill – in full – every month.
- It is foolish to cosign for someone else’s loan. As stated in Proverbs 11:15, “He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe.” I know this to be true from personal experience too.
- By borrowing, you don’t let God provide for you. Conforming to Philippians 4:19, God will meet all our needs. Instead of waiting on God to do His work, you borrow in haste and you lose the opportunity to grow in faith. You play God and that is just not right.
The Problem with Money as Debt
Problems emerge when you take what God created and use it for some other purpose. For instance, money. God gives you money so you can fulfill your basic needs and help others who may need it more than you.
What do we do instead?
We spend it all on ourselves. The fancy lotions, the jazzy clothes. We eat out at nice restaurants every weekend instead of a week’s supply of groceries or paying up the credit card balance. This addiction to buying things we want more than we need has to stop.
We are irresponsible with the money that God entrusted to us.
Debt, like any other sin, can be overcome
We are victorious in Christ. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”Galatians 5:24. We are free from the devil and his schemes. Submit this area into God’s hands. He will give you freedom.
- Get an accountability partner.
- Pray over this area daily.
- Save money in little everyday ways.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24.
So do not be discouraged, patience and perseverance will come to you once you realize God wants you to live a life of freedom, gratitude, and generosity. Etching this in your heart is the first step towards getting out of debt this year. The next step is using this newfound motivation to save money and get out of debt.
So how do you manage to save money or pay your debt without any trouble? Your insights will be helpful for all of us. Comment here, please.