The Reality of Debt

It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. – Ecclesiastes 5:5

Financially speaking, there are three kinds of people: the haves, the have-nots, and those who have not paid for what they have!

Debt has become a way of life in America. “In 2004, the average credit-card-indebted family allocated 21 percent of its income to servicing monthly debt compared to the 13 percent dedicated to debt payments among all households.”[1] We must understand that when debt rules, debt ruins. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Debt controls your life; it puts you in a kind of slavery.

There are several reasons for debt: ignorance, indulgence, poor planning, and emergencies. Debt is owing something you cannot pay, and that kind of debt should be abnormal for the Christian because it is outside of God’s will. Debt is first and foremost a spiritual issue—we are in debt because we have refused to obey God.

I believe that God provides a way for us to live without being controlled by our debt. “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow” (Deuteronomy 28:12).

We can be set free from the tyranny of debt, and there are four steps that can help us: plant, plan, prioritize, and pray.

[1] Jose Garcia, “Borrowing to Make Ends Meet: The Rapid Growth of Credit Card Debt in America.”