Why God Wants His People Debt Free

See that guy in the picture? It’s obvious that he has trained himself to be able to lift that crazy amount of weight. It’s also obvious by the look on his face that it takes some serious effort for him to be able to lift it. As a former bodybuilder, I can identify. Weightlifting is tough, and every training day you are pushing yourself to limits you’re not sure you can handle. When I was lifting, I used to pride myself on accomplishing new lifting feats.

Likewise, when we were deep in debt, I used to pride myself on our ability to handle the payments and juggle the high DTI while still paying the bills. And then it wasn’t so fun anymore. As I got older, I started to dream about what it would be like to not have to do all of that heavy financial lifting each month.

God Wants His People Debt Free

And then God spoke to my husband and I in our spirits about getting out of debt. I know I don’t always talk so overtly about God in my posts, but this is a subject that’s been tugging at my heart lately. Sometimes it’s tough for Christians to grasp the idea that God is against debt, but the Bible is clear:

“Owe no man anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”-Romans 13:8

This is one of the only verses that commands specifically to avoiding debt, but there are others that warn against it.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” – Proverbs 22:8

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (old world term for money) -Matthew 6:24

“It is better than you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.” -Ecclesiastes 5:5

“Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?” –Proverbs 22:26-27

There are many more, but you get the idea. I’ve encountered many, many believers that believe that carrying debt is just fine with God. In fact, I used to believe that myself. However, there are several reasons God doesn’t want His people in debt.

Before I get into those reasons, let me preface by saying that if you are in debt, God is not mad at you. He loves you no matter what. But He also wants His best for you. This is why being debt free is a part of living God’s best life for you, and why He cares so much about your financial freedom.

God Doesn’t Want You to Be a Slave to Lenders

God is your Abba Father, and He doesn’t want you in bondage to lenders or to your job because you have to pay those lenders. He wants you to be fully available to do the awesome things He has planned for you and for you not to be hindered from pursuing what He lays on your heart because of debt. He also doesn’t you to be subject legally or otherwise to governing authorities that may take away your freedom because you’re carrying debt.

God Doesn’t Want You to Be Stressed Over Money

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans of good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God’s best for you is not drowning in debt and stressing out because of it. His best is when you don’t even have to think about money because you’ve got a debt free life and a healthy savings account.

The less you have to think about money, debt and how you’re going to pay the bills, the more time and energy you have to focus on more important things, like God and family.

God Wants You Available to Share the Gospel

When you’re debt free and not having to worrying about money, you have more time and more money to use toward spreading the love of Christ, feeding the poor, helping care for the widows and orphans or doing whatever He asks you to do. Spreading the gospel message often takes money as we work to help those in our own communities and those around the world. This is why it’s important to God for us as Christians to be financially secure.

God Loves to Bless His People

I heard a great sermon the other day that talked about the difference between a miracle and a blessing. A miracle, the teacher said, only happens when there’s a crisis and supernatural (going above and beyond natural laws) intervention is needed. A blessed life is a life where you don’t need a miracle.

God loves to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (2 Chron. 16:9) As Jesus said in the book of Matthew, “if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?”

We as human parents like to bless our children. God, being perfect, likes to bless His children too. By “bless” I don’t mean “spoil rotten”. By “bless” I mean what we all want as parents, to teach our children the path to responsible behavior that leads to a blessed life. This is the entire reason God gave Christians the Bible. It’s His instruction book for leading a blessed life that allows Christians to “learn by example” and avoid the mistakes that the people in the Bible made so that they can be most efficient at spreading the love of Christ to a hurting world.

Carrying debt brings with it a burden that God doesn’t want His people to have to carry. Free yourself from the burden of debt and make yourself available physically and financially to spread the unconditional love of Christ as God leads you to.

Have you ever been of the mindset that debt is “okay as long as you can make the payments”?

20 comments on “Why God Wants His People Debt Free

  1. Great post Laurie! I love the way you tied it all together. I heard a sermon once about how God doesn’t want you to give to charity because HE needs it. He wants you to give because YOU need it. That in turn gives Him spiritual legal access to bless your finances. Sow your seed and reap your harvest, just like a farmer does. I appreciate your willingness to share the Love and Wisdom of God! 🙂

    1. Love your comment, my friend. And you’re so right. Giving is indeed for us. It teaches us to be givers and to trust that we’ll still have our own needs met even if we give money away. And God loves to bless His children through giving.

  2. Thanks for sharing Laurie. As you know we were trapped in the minimum payment mindset for years. We are so happy to beyond that now and sharing with anyone that will listen how they can break those habits and move to a more stress-free, giving life.

  3. I believed the “debt was okay” idea for so long. It definitely didn’t help that my family fed this idea to me as I grew up. Oy! Unfortunately we all learned the hard way that debt isn’t and shouldn’t be normal.

    It’s interesting because I saw a story about a woman who wanted to be a nun. She had to pay off about $100,000 of student loans to join the convent. Interesting!

  4. Wonderful post Laurie! God truly desires freedom for his people and being a slave to a lender, or even your own over-desires for more, more, more is not freedom. I think this is a huge factor in the debt payoff vs. investing debate that often gets overlooked. It may not be a moral issue, but it’s just awesome to be free.

  5. A bold post, Laurie! I used to think of these types of scriptures in a nagging voice – the voice of no-fun, of overly strict discipline. But now I think of them spoken in an earnest voice of deep wisdom – a wisdom that blesses us when we follow it.

  6. I love this post. One that I read a few times over a couple days to let all the parts sink in 🙂

    In money conversations with friends of faith, the thing that most often strikes us is the compulsion to acquire material goods and to *appear* materially wealthy. The comment was once said, “I’d rather live like Christ than pretend I am God.”

  7. My wife & I have been wrestling whether to put our extra income to the home mortgage or investing since we have a low interest rate. We sided on getting debt-free because we want the flexibility & freedom of knowing it’s one less bill (expense) each month. And, we can always double up on investments in a few years.

    Sure, we’ll miss out on compound interest, but, it’s not like we aren’t investing anything for the future. Plus, we’ve ready many of these same verses (you could even include the Israelites Year of Jubilee) and see that being in debt isn’t always a wise decision because none of us can predict our future financial security.

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