Personal debt has skyrocketed in Western culture. Easy credit, a desire for material goods, and an unwillingness to save and wait have led many people down the path of financial bondage. The Bible doesn’t forbid borrowing, but it clearly warns us of its negative consequences. Our verse today describes the borrower as the lender’s slave.
Every dollar borrowed costs you a measure of freedom. It means your paycheck is no longer entirely yours, since a part of it must be set aside to repay your creditor. As the interest adds up, the financial burden may necessitate working longer hours. The obligation to repay debt oftentimes hinders the ability to give to the Lord’s work or help people in need. Instead of getting the firstfruits, God gets leftovers or nothing at all.
The consequences of accumulating debt reach beyond monetary issues. The burden of mounting bills creates emotional and relational stress. In fact, financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. Even our relationship with the Lord is affected when we let our appetite for the world’s goods override our obedience to His voice. Although God promises to supply our needs, how often do we jump ahead of Him and provide for ourselves with easy payment plans?
The next time you are tempted to charge a purchase that you really can’t afford, stop! Go home and ask the Lord if He wants you to have it. If He does, ask Him to provide it. Then wait. True freedom comes to those who rely on the Lord’s provision instead of their credit cards.
Bible in One Year: Judges 10-12