Often, Proverbs 22:7 is used to vilify debt in general. It says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender” (NIV). Generally, the Bible suggests not to get into debt. But let us be clear. It is not a sin to be in debt. Within the premise of “loving our neighbor,” I firmly believe in paying back our debt, as it is an exercise of responsibility and integrity.
There are many interpretations of Proverbs 22:7 that can lead to an absolute resistance against debt. But I believe it goes back to wisdom and discernment of how we are using debt in the first place.
Please allow me to give you my perspective. The Biblical context of slavery is much different than what we may understand today. I am no biblical scholar, but back in Biblical days, people often borrowed monetary resources from one another. If such debt could not have been repaid, the borrower would pledge themselves as a "slave" to work their debt off. Once they had completed their labor, their debt was considered paid. Were there other forms of slavery that could have been cruel and violent? I do not doubt it. But it is important to understand the basis of what many Biblical influencers often refer to.
I believe debt is perfectly acceptable as long as it is being used with wisdom and the intent of creating a financial return. For example, if you borrow $10,000 to be used for a proven business or an investment, this is an acceptable use of debt. On the flip side, I believe it is foolish to borrow $10,000 to buy a new boat that neither brings any financial return nor a fruitful use of the money.
At the end of the day, the Bible warns against the dangers of debt, because people often get carried away with greed and covetous heart. However, with careful planning, wise advice, thinking, and praying, debt can be a tool to help you grow your wealth and income.