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”?