The Dangers Of Debt

I want to take this space to recap a subject we covered last Wednesday night in Bible study. This one subject, in my personal opinion, has done more to crippled our country in the last 2-3 generations than anything else I know of. The subject is debt and we discussed the dangers of it given in Scripture. The reason its such a big deal is because we have such big debts these days. Sadly we are OK with it and think it’s normal. Its not OK and its not the norm. I gave some stats on American household debt and I can personally give them to you if do not realize that families today have more debt than ever before. It’s not just bigger houses and nicer cars. It’s lawn mowers, boats, furniture, vacations, even meals bought on credit cards.

But let me jump ahead to God’s view of debt. In Proverbs 17:18 and 22:26-27 the Bible says borrowing is “foolish” and that debt could cause to loose what you already own if you can’t pay it back. The Bible also says Debt makes us a slave in Prov 22:7. Almost every American is enslaved by debt and some more so than others. Now think about this verse: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” You say “Oh preacher, that’s talking about greed not debt.” But I beg to differ, you work like you do because you owe like you do. Debt has enslaved your free money and required more of your time than you really want to admit. You can work because you want more or you can work because you’ve already spent more. You probably don’t realize your condition because you think everyone is in this condition, it’s normal.

Lets deal with idea of debt being “normal” for everyone. To be honest, you sound like a kid saying “everyone else is doing it.” Debt was designed to get us out of a temporary emergency, not a lifestyle. The generations before you didn’t live this way. The Bible says we are not to live this way. But the world says: “you need it now” “don’t wait” “only $99 down and $99* a month”*till death Before to long we miss church because we need the overtime. We can’t give to missions, we live paycheck to paycheck just paying bills. The next thing you know we can’t retire because we owe to much. Sounds culturally normal but biblically abnormal.

So what made us think we are supposed to pay bills for the rest of our life? The world we live in convinced us of that. God says “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” That is true freedom, your only payment this month is to love your fellow man. That may seem impossible, but it’s not. It may take some time, but everyone of us can get out of debt if we want to. I want you to be free to serve God and not your debts. ~HWS