OceanSide church of Christ

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Is it Sinful to Be in Debt?
by: Dalton Gilreath

Some Christians really struggle with the concept of debt. In fact, an article was written arguing that being in debt is sinful. Two passages were quoted to argue the point. The first passage states, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another…” (Rom 13:8 KJV). The second passage referenced was “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov 22:7). While we agree that being in debt is not an ideal situation, could we really say it is sinful? There are other passages that must be examined in order to come to a conclusion.

First of all, if being in debt is contrary to God’s word then lending money would also be wrong. However, Jesus commands us to be willing to lend to those who want to “borrow” from us (Matthew 5:42). The moment we let someone borrow money, or borrow anything for that matter, that individual would immediately be in debt. Why would Jesus expect us to lend to others if it was sinful to owe anything?

Secondly, other passages addressing the borrower do not outright condemn debt, but warn against being unable to repay the debt (Prov 22:26-27). In other words, the sin is not being in debt, but not being true to our word and repaying that debt. As a Christian I have an obligation to fulfill my end of any agreement I make with others. Therefore, Paul discourages being in debt as it opens an opportunity for one to sin against God. If you plan to borrow something, whether it be money or not, be sure you are able to return it in full. The Bible simply teaches a truth we can clearly understand. That is, it is best not to be in debt at all, but if we find ourselves owing others we must be sure to pay all our dues.