The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7
“The Bible doesn’t call debt a sin, but it does warn us about its many unintended consequences.
When I was a young lawyer, we moved to Austin, Texas, and bought a home not far from downtown. We could barely afford the home, but reasonably expected my income to steadily increase over time. Even if it didn’t, Austin was a great real estate market, so we believed we could always sell the home at any time and get our money out.
About three years after we bought the home, I became convicted that my job had become unsustainable for my family and faith. Around this same time, the real estate market in the United States crashed. We couldn’t sell our house. To make matters worse, I couldn’t quit my job because I couldn’t replace enough of my income in another job to still afford our mortgage. I was trapped. I literally owned a home that prevented me from taking a different job or going where I felt God leading me to go.
For three more years, we were unable to change anything. Eventually, the market recovered, we were able to sell our house and were finally freed to follow where God was leading. I learned a very important lesson along the way — debt always obligates me to something in the future before I know what the future holds.
By using debt, we are pre-committing our future selves to pay for our current wants and needs. Not only that, we are restricting our ability to be generous both now and in the future. We have reduced the amount of money that will be available in the future to meet unanticipated needs. In essence, debt says that our needs and wants today are worth more than anything the future brings.
Our decision about going into debt today is about a lot more than whether we can afford the payment. The decision is about whether we can afford to limit our futures. Debt always has future consequences; the trouble is that we can’t know what they will be.”
Michael Blue in Financial Hope: Find Freedom in your Finances through God’s Word (Marion, IN: Ron Blue Institute, 2019).
My dear friend, Michael Blue, sent me a copy of this book, and I read it on my flights this week. It’s a winner! Click the link above to order a copy today.
What I like most about it is that each chapter starts with a story, and then Michael takes you into the Scriptures so you can make the lesson part of your story.
When he shared his own story and about how debt mortgages the future, I thought about people I know who are slaves to debt. They are stuck. Know anyone like this?
The world pummels us with offers to live beyond our means and take on debt. Each time with Michael let’s respond, “No, I am content with what I have. I refuse to limit my future!”
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5