CHRISTIANS AND DEBT
Should a Christian be in Debt? The Bible makes it clear that being in debt is not God’s best for us. I haven’t found anything to indicate that it is a sin for a Christian to be in debt (unless of course you are disobeying God’s personal instruction for you), but Jesus came to set us free, not make us slaves. Therefore, when Proverbs says “the borrower is slave to the lender,” I get the impression that God wants us to be debt-free.
We live in a unique time, with unique challenges. We are inundated with so much advertising and marketing almost everywhere we go. The world is screaming a lot of things, and most of them aren’t in agreement with what God is whispering to us. It is a challenge to live within your means. Especially when you see so many others living way beyond their means and enjoying the fleeting pleasures of the moment. It requires great sacrifice to see long term and to think beyond what our flesh wants right now.
Debt is NOT normal: I am not going to go on a tirade against credit cards or car loans right now, but we have got to start understanding that debt is not normal. Just because most of society calls it normal and good does not make it either of those. Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness…”Just because everyone else is doing it, does not make it right!! God’s principles, regardless of how few people follow them, should be our guide. Not the noise of society.
Debt is Slavery: Every time we enter into lender/borrower agreement we are actually entering into a master/slave agreement. Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rules over the poor and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Just as there is a bondage that comes from being in debt, there is a opposite and equal freedom that comes from being liberated from it. I am still working on this one myself. I am doing everything I can do by being disciplined with my money and being the best steward possible. And I am trusting that God will do His part. He wants to see us liberated from the slavery of debt more than we do. By doing our part and asking Him for help a lot of power is present to break us out of the bondage of debt.
Because of what my Oga and pastor(Pastor David Ibiyeomie taught me at Word of Life Bible Institute) recently a convert that had his wife undergo surgery to deliver her babe at Military hospital and he could not pay a balance medical bill of fifty five thousand naira (N55,000). The mother and child detained at the hospital. The man decided to go and borrow thirty thousand naira (N30, 000) with interest from lender at Ohafia in Abia State. I had to stop him. Telling him what l had been through as result of debts and what My Oga Pastor David Ibiyeomie had taught me that had taken me out of debt. Rather than going into debt that will plunge him further into debt l gave him d thirty thousand Naira. That act of getting out of debt led him to leave his former Church to Salvation Ministries.
My Pastor in his book, “How to come out of debt” lament the danger in getting into debts. Said he: “Debt has become the root of lack of progress and productivity in the lives of many today. Try as they may, they remain unproductive. They can’t do the things they would want to do, because they are highly indebted. Life therefore becomes stagnated. A man who is in debt is constantly harassed and molested!...Even in Nehemiah, it is revealed that some Jews through debt. This shows that you can be a covenant person and still be in debt. For people who are not experiencing the prosperity of God, debt presents itself as an alternative. They see debt as a way out. But that is not true. It is your financial integrity that determines your financial dignity. If you are blessed by God, you can walk out on debt.”
Being Debt-Free isn’t just for us: Whether God wants everyone to be a millionaire, I cannot answer. But I do know that he wants all Christians to prosper. Psalm 35:27: “ …And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” He wants us to thrive and use that which we have been blessed with to bless others. He says, we will lend to many nations and not borrow. In order to lend to others we need to get ourselves in a solid financial situation that will allow it. That said, we need to start giving no matter what our situation looks like. It is easy to say, “Oh, I will give when I have more money to give.” God wants us to give when we feel like we have nothing to give. It is a true step of faith when you give before you have abundance.
Mark 12:41-44: “And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
Sowing seed for the harvest: The Bible makes it clear that we will reap what we sow. Once you start thinking of that like a farmer it makes it a lot easier… I am getting ready to plant some tomato, lettuce, herbs, and a bunch of other seeds. I know that if I don’t drop any seed in the ground, I will not get any of the harvest in a few months. But if I do plant those seeds, I can count on receiving a bunch of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and everything else that I sow. We need to look at every Naira we have as seed. We can either spend it on ourselves or we can sow it into the Kingdom of God (our local church) or sow it into someone else’s life.
Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” It is okay to expect a harvest for what you sow. God said it. We can trust Him. Let’s make it a point this week to sow a little bit more seed, and just see what God does. Have question you may call: 08033399821 or write [email protected] Stay and blessed.
Written By Dr. Lewis Akpogena