Being in Debt as a Result of Poor Financial Management
Many people are in debt because they have poor financial management habits. Many Christians live beyond their means by spending more than they earn as a result of worldliness. In Romans 12:2, we should not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our wind, that we may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. In 1 John 2:15-17, we should not love the world, or the things in the world. If anyone love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. In 1 John 2:16, for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but of the world.
We should avoid coveting what other people have. Covetousness can lead you to borrow money from the bank or creditors and caused you to be in debt. In Exodus 20:17, you shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, the rich in this world should not be highminded, trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. They should do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. Then, they will lay up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. In 1 Timothy 6:10, the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Owe No one Anything Except Love
If you have money to pay back your debt, you should do so and not delay it. Holding back the money and not paying your debt is a sin. If you operate a business and you hire workers, you must make sure to pay their salaries on time. If you did not pay your workers’ salaries on time, you are stealing their wages, which are belonged to them. In Psalm 37:21, the wicked borrow and never pay back but the righteous is generous and gives. In Romans 13:7-8, we should pay all what we owe: tax to the government, revenue to your workers, respect to whom respect to owed and honor to whom honor is owed. We should owe nothing to anyone, except to love each other. The most important commandment in the bible is to love one another as much as you love yourself. Love is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 22:36-40).
Pay Your Tithe
In addition, we also should pay our tithes. Many Christians don’t pay tithes because they misunderstood that this is an Old Testament law. This is not true because we still have to obey the Old Testament law. There are certain Old Testament laws that we don’t have to obey include rites, festivities and complicated laws. According to Malachi 3:9-11, we must pay our tithes to the house of God, which is the church. The tithe is the 10% of all your income including your salary, allowances, pensions, and money you received from other sources. If you don’t pay your tithe, you will find that God did not bless your financially. If you want God to bless you financially, you should pay your tithe every month. When paying your tithe, you must give with a cheerful heart. God does not look at how much you give but he looks at your heart. In 2 Corinthians 8:12, if is a willing mind, the gift is accepted according to that a man has, not according to what he does not have.
Don’t Charge Interest When Borrowing
If you lend someone money, you should not charge interest. In Deuteronomy 23:19, don’t charge interest to your brother including money, victuals, or anything else that you lend. In Exodus 22:25, you shall not be like a moneylender when lending money to God’s people who are poor. In Ezekiel 22:12, you shall not take bribes, interest and profit and make gain of your neighbors through extortion. In Ezekiel 18:13, lending at interest and taking profit is an abomination to God. Some churches charge interest when lending money to the members. Whether the church is lending at interest to accumulate money for charity, it is still a sin towards God.
Forgive Other People’s Debt
If your borrower is poor and not able to pay back you what he owed, you should forgive his debt. The bible teaches us to be merciful. God’s commandments is all about loving others.In Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells a parable about a king who forgive his servant debt when he couldn’t pay back the 10,000 talents he owed. After the king acquitted the servant’s debt, he found a fellow servant who owed 100 denarii and haven’t pay back yet. The servant was not merciful towards his fellow servant and hew threw him into prison. When other servants saw that, they were distressed and they told their master about what had happened. At last, the king punished the unmerciful servant by turning him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay back all he owed.
How to Avoid Debt?
One way is to cut down all the unnecessary expenses. Everything in this world belong to God including money, possessions and etc. We are only temporary manager of the money that God gives us. Wasting is a sin. Therefore, we should avoid spending money on things that we don’t use. In Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus teach the disciples not to waste by instructing them to pick up the leftovers and they filled up 12 baskets of leftovers. If you need help in managing your finances, you should pray to the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom in managing your finances.