What Does the Bible Say About Debt?
There are a number of verses in the Old and New Testament concerning debt, and one of the most noteworthy can be found in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Romans 13:8 states that: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another”. This clearly states that as a Christian, a person has the responsibility to live a financially stable and debt free life, save for the continued love of his God, and fellow man.
So is debt considered a sin in the eyes of God?
In truth, there is nothing in the Bible that specifically calls debt a sin. However, there are many cautions about debt becoming a source of conflict or problem. For example, debt can become a problem if the source of the need is envy from a neighbor’s possessions or even greed.
According to 1 Timothy 6: 10: For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. And Hebrews 13:5 states that:
Keep your lives free from love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’
These two verses clearly indicate that the cause of debt is sometimes envy of the possessions of others, the love of wealth, and a lack of faith in that God will provide. In addition, the Bible clearly indicates that all debts should be repaid.
According to Romans 13:7, the Christian should: Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then, honor. Also, the Bible indicates that debt should be a temporary state of affairs. For example, in Deuteronomy 15: 1, debts should be resolved or cancelled, within seven years. At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.
In summary, debt in and of itself is not a sin, however, the causes of debt, and the reckless borrowing of money can lead to sinful actions, so the Christian should make every effort to live responsibly.