To Borrow or Not to Borrow? That Is the Question

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling

… the borrower is slave to the lender.

Proverbs 22:7

The other day I saw a sign stating: “Give yourself credit! Your money solved … It is easy … Apply … !” Tempting invitations to borrow money are all around us. What are we supposed to do as Christians? I would be lying if I say that I have never borrowed money. I have done it, sometimes for good reasons and other times for stupid reasons. Oh, how I have regretted every time I had to send a check due to my stupidity. The good news is that I have learned some things along the way.

While the Bible does not forbid borrowing explicitly, it speaks about it in negative ways. Proverbs presents a strong message, as does Paul, who writes, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another…" (Rom. 13:8). How does the borrower become a slave? Historically, slaves did not have the freedom to decide their future because they were someone’s property. By borrowing money, we lose the opportunity for future financial decision-making, and thus our sense of freedom. If every paycheck is already committed to a bill for something that we have already purchased, there is a hopeless sense of being trapped, of being a slave to the lender.

I was talking to a friend about this topic, and he mentioned: “In a society like ours, it is almost impossible to not borrow money. How are we supposed to buy a house?” Many financial experts talk about good debt (investments that may increase their worth, such as a house) and bad debt (unnecessary purchases often charged on credit cards, such as eating out or vacations that we cannot afford).

While the goal should be to not borrow at all, if borrowing becomes a necessity, we must be wise about it. Some questions I ask myself are: Is this something indispensable? Is it favorable to me and to my future? Given my financial situation, will I be able to comfortably repay this debt, or will it become a burden? If, after answering these questions, the transaction appears to be a good debt, I still need to do my homework and find the best possible deal regarding the loan’s time and interest.

The Bible affirms that we were called to freedom (Gal. 5:13). Financial freedom is built on our ability to be content with and appreciative of what we have, as well as our ability to be good stewards of our resources. Developing these skills will lead us to avoid debt and eventually to a true financial freedom.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When was the last time that you borrowed money? Was it necessary? How did you feel about it? How do you feel about it right now?

PRAYER: Dear God, you have blessed us with many resources, and for this we are thankful. Please help us to be good stewards and to use them in a way that is pleasing to you and healthy for us and our families. Amen!


Borrowing and Lending

Is it okay for Christians (or Christian businesses) to borrow money? To encourage others to borrow money? To lend money? What does the Bible have to say about appropriate interest rates for loans and credit? Come join us at our virtual table for a discussion about Borrowing and Lending. It’s difficult to purchase a car or a home or an education without agreeing to pay installments on that commodity for many years into the future. Is this what God has in mind for us and for our resources, or are we overthinking things here? Are there practical steps we can take to avoid borrowing money, and does it matter if we’re borrowing money from a family member or from a financial institution? We welcome your stories, your thoughts, and your experiences, whether you’re a borrower or a lender. What have you learned about God, his great gift of redemption, and his work of restoration through the experiences of borrowing and lending the resources entrusted to you?

Featured image by Thomas Hawk. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.