What does the bible say about debt? There are many financial planners, advisors, and commentators that are praised for their disdain for debt.
Honestly, being anti-debt is trendy right now in the world of personal finance, but it wasn’t always that way.
Even now, you can still find many people who will tout the benefits of leveraging yourself to your eyeballs, but we have a different view.
Before all of these famous people, the Bible was the dissenting voice about debt. So what does the Bible say about debt?
Don’t borrow money. Lending money is OK. The debtor is a slave to the lender.
6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.”
– Deuteronomy 15:6
The debtor is a slave to the lender.
7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
– Proverbs 22:7
Get out of debt.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
– 2 Kings 4:7
Don’t co-sign on loans.
26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;”
– Proverbs 22:26
Who would have known that the Bible had so much to say about money? In fact, money is one of the most talked about subjects in the bible. I suppose God knew we’d have issues with it. You can glean a lot from the above bible passages, but just looking at the basics the bible clearly says:
- Debt is bad for you.
- If you’re in it, get out of it.
- Don’t guarantee other people’s debt (co-sign).
- If you’re in debt, then you’re a slave.
- Debt is bad for you.
- and, debt is bad for you.
What used to happen when you defaulted?
That is basic and fundamental information. Back in biblical days, debt had far worse consequences than it does today. If you didn’t pay, you lost everything. The bible didn’t condone those actions, in fact, it spoke out against taking people’s livelihoods as collateral, but it still happened.
People lost their children, and loved ones because of debt. I think many people have a lax approach to debt just because we have the magical “bankruptcy” protection, but that’s no excuse. Don’t be fooled by “bankruptcy” you can still lose an awful lot because of it.
Don’t get lazy about your debt, get out of it. Don’t treat it like a friend that’s going to stick around for a while, treat it like a burglar that is breaking in. It has no conscience, it has no honor, and it won’t care about what you lose. It is a money vacuum that will consume until one of you wins.
Leverage Can Be Used As A Tool
I’ve heard this, and I’ve even made use of leverage to gain financially, but there’s no question that you flirt with disaster. Anyone who tells you there is no risk in using leverage is telling a bold-faced lie. If there were no increase in risk, then there could be no increase in reward. The laws of finance are natural ones. There is always balance in nature. You can’t have one without the other.
You can artificially suppress risk, but you only compound future risk. If you don’t believe me, then look at what the US is doing with their Bonds. We’re now taking out shorter and shorter term debt to pay the interest on maturing bonds. We’re playing a game of kick the can down the road, but instead of kicking it a couple of feet in front of us like we were, we are instead kicking it only a few inches. The piper will be paid.