This is one of my favorite Bible verses
Galatians 5: 22 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is
against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
Take a second and think on each of the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and as you do, tell yourself how you feel after a moment of meditation on each of the fruit of the Spirit of God.
It might help if you say this to yourself
“when someone shows me love, I feel ___________.”
“when someone is joyful, it makes me feel ___________.”
“when I am around someone who is peaceful, I feel ___________.”
“when someone is patient with me, I feel ___________.”
“when someone is kind to me, I feel ___________.”
You might also try
“when I express love toward ___________I feel ___________.”
“when I am full of joy it makes me ___________.”
“when I focus myself on peacefulness I feel ___________.”
“when I am patient, it helps me ___________.
“when I am kind, I feel ___________.”
(It will take a few minutes to go through each ‘fruit of the Spirit’, but it worth the effort).
How do you feel, now?
Want a real contrast?
Have you ever been in DEBT?
Are you in debt now?
Do you remember how you felt the first time you went into debt?
Did you notice that after a while you were able to ‘get over’ that first uncomfortable feeling of being in debt?
Going into debt the first time, kind of ‘feels like’ you’ve been sinned or something, doesn’t it?
Just like sin, sometimes, it gives you something you think you really want but afterwards you aren’t so certain. And, you aren’t sure if this was the best way to get it.
Have you ever sinned and felt sorry about it afterwards? Sort of like experiencing “buyer’s remorse” isn’t it?
And, it seems like debt allows some things into your life that work opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit. See if you agree:
Galatians 5: 19-20 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions. (v26) Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
If you have ever been in debt you may have experienced some of these emotions from the stress of pressures debt can create. In fact, I’ve read that one of the main causes of marital strife comes from being in debt.
So, if debt creates trouble, why do we do it? Why do we go into debt? (I’ll leave this one to you to answer)
What I really want to examine is WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT DEBT? Is going into debt a sin? Should I go into debt? Can I avoid debt in our post-modern, competitive, consumer-driven world?
Here are a few Bible verses referenced by Dave Ramsey, a leading Christian personal money advisor, from his web site:
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Proverbs 22:7
"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender." Romans 13:8
"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law." Proverbs 13:11
"Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow." Proverbs 22:26–27
"Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?" Proverbs 17:18
"It's stupid to guarantee someone else's loan." Proverbs 11:15
"The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives." Proverbs 6:1–5
No comments necessary. But, what do you think?
Next, I want to borrow a paragraph from “GotQuetions.org” on this matter because this advice is easier to accept if you have already gone into debt:
“The Bible neither expressly forbids nor condones the borrowing of money. The wisdom of the Bible teaches us that it is usually not a good idea to go into debt. Debt essentially makes us a slave to the one who provides the loan. At the same time, in some situations we decided that going into debt is a “necessary evil.” As long as money is being handled wisely and the debt payments are manageable, a Christian can take on the burden of financial debt if it is absolutely necessary.”
Finally, here is a reference that handles this matter with a stricter Biblical view. I recommend you read this too, for balance.
In conclusion, I do not agree that it is OK for a Christian to create or partake in a “necessary evil” (that is really some oxymoron, isn’t it?)
Debt is usually the result of an earlier action or behavior. Sometimes unavoidable.
And, sometimes we, as Christians, feel like we are in a ‘no win’ sitution and so we go into debt.
Just remember, there is a price we pay for straying outside the boundaries God has set.
The biggest price may be that of our testimony. We say you believe in the Bible and that we are a follower of Christ and His Word but we DO what is expedient and what gives us our desires, right now.
I am certain it is best to stay out of debt, or at least have funds to cover any loans you make. When you cannot avoid debt, exhaust all other avenues first. Then plan carefully.
If you are a parent, a teacher or leader who exerts influence on others, either directly or indirectly, you should carefully avoid debt. Your example may bring harm not only to yourself, but to others.