Have you ever found yourself in debt and wondered what the Bible has to say about it?
As Christians, we know that the Bible offers guidance on all aspects of life, including finances.
So, what does the Bible say about debts, money, and loans?
From Proverbs to the teachings of Jesus, there are numerous verses that offer insights and principles on these topics.
Let’s explore the wisdom of Scripture and discover how we can be good stewards of the resources that God has entrusted to us.
Is Money The Root of All Evil?
When people say “money is the root of all evil,” they are actually misquoting a Bible verse.
The actual verse from 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
The distinction is important because it’s not money itself that is evil, but the love of money, which can lead people to do all sorts of terrible things.
The truth is that money can be a powerful tool for good. For instance, one can use money to help those in need or support important causes.
However, it can also be a source of temptation and corruption.
This happens when one becomes too engrossed in the idea of accumulating wealth and possessions.
In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
This verse emphasizes the importance of keeping our priorities in check and not allowing money to become our primary focus.
Another Bible verse that speaks to the dangers of greed and the love of money is Ecclesiastes 5:10, which says, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”
Here, Solomon highlights the futility of pursuing worldly wealth for the sake of becoming rich and powerful and warns against the endless pursuit of more and more money.
Money is not inherently evil, but it can become a source of evil when one becomes too focused on accumulating it.
As Christians, we should strive to use money as a tool to help others and glorify God rather than as a means of self-aggrandizement.
We can do this by keeping our priorities in check and seeking God’s guidance in our financial decisions.
What The Bible Says About Debt
If money is not evil, what about borrowing money? What does the Bible say about debt? The Bible actually talks about debt in several places.
Most of these passages provide valuable guidance for managing one’s finances.
That said, one of the main things the Bible teaches about debt is that we should avoid it as much as possible.
Here’s what Proverbs 22:7 has to say about it: The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
“Slave” is a strong word, but the Bible says that anyone who borrows money becomes a slave to the one who lends.
What this means is that borrowing money can be a risky endeavor that can lead to financial bondage and stress.
What if I really need money? Now, there are circumstances when one doesn’t have any real choice but to borrow money.
When that happens, you should remember what the Bible says in Romans 13:8. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
This is not primarily about borrowing money, but what it says is that if we are to be in debt, it should be in relation to love.
This is a reminder that we should be honest and faithful in repaying our debts.
The issue of debts is not just a financial issue but also a matter of character.
It’s our responsibility to pay back what we owe, and failure to do so can damage our reputation and integrity.
The thing about being in debt is that once you go into debt, you will be placing an unnecessary burden on yourself.
You may hate the burden, but regardless, you will still have to pay the amount you borrowed.
So, while the Bible doesn’t say that borrowing money is wrong, it isn’t the biggest promoter of going into debt either.
Is it Sin to Loan Money?
The Bible doesn’t encourage borrowing money or getting into debt, but what does it say about loaning money to someone in need? Is it a sin to lend money?
Just as borrowing money is not a sin, so is lending money not condemned by the Bible.
However, the Bible highlights the importance of compassion and integrity in relation to loaning money.
In Luke 6:34-35, Jesus talks about lending without expecting to get anything back.
Does this mean you shouldn’t expect payment for a significantly large sum of money you loaned to a friend or relative? By no means.
What this verse means is that if you’re going to lend at all, do so with empathy and grace.
If you know the other person has no means of paying you back, give them a reasonable amount instead and tell them it’s a gift.
If giving money as a gift is not an option, then lend money with a spirit of generosity and love rather than just to seek gain or profit.
As a Christian, it is your responsibility to help people in need, even if you don’t expect to be repaid.
However, the Bible also teaches us to be wise and discerning in our financial decisions, including lending money.
Proverbs 22:26-27 says, “Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.”
What this verse highlights is that you should be cautious when it comes to lending money. Avoid putting yourself in a position of financial risk as much as possible.
Always consider the potential consequences of loaning money, and make sure that you are able to handle any burdens that may arise because of your actions.
Being Good Stewards
Handling finances is all about being a good steward. As Christians, we are called to steward our resources (finances included) responsibly.
This primarily means that we are responsible for managing our money in a way that honors God and aligns with His principles.
When it comes to the topics of debt and lending money, being a good steward means approaching these issues with wisdom and discernment.
It means making sure that we are not putting ourselves in a position of financial risk or burden but also being willing to help others in need.
For instance, if someone comes to you to borrow money, it’s okay to say no when you have no money to spare.
Avoid borrowing money yourself just so you can lend it to others. This may seem compassionate, but it’s actually foolish.
Only lend money if you have the capacity to do so. If you really want to help others, one thing you can do is set aside a portion of your income every month and label it as an “offering.”
That way, when someone in need approaches you, you won’t be forced to lend them money but give them money as a means of helping them.
Money can be a sensitive subject, but it’s one we shouldn’t shy away from as Christians. When used properly, money can be a tool for advancing God’s kingdom.
As for borrowing and lending money, we’ve learned that the Bible doesn’t condemn such practices.
However, the key is to make decisions wisely and become good stewards of the resources God has entrusted us.