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Debt Free LivingSample

Debt Free Living

DAY 1 OF 5

Before we start our video series on becoming debt-free, let’s first establish what the Bible teaches on debt.

What Is Debt?

The dictionary defines debt as “money that a person is obligated to pay to another.” Debt includes bank loans, money borrowed from relatives, the home mortgage, past-due medical bills, and money owed to credit card companies. Bills that come due, such as the monthly electric bill, are not considered debt if they are paid on time.

The Bible on Debt

Scripture does not say that debt is a sin, but it strongly discourages it. Remember, God loves us and has given us these principles for our benefit. Read the first portion of Romans 13:8 from several different translations: “Owe no man anything” (KJV). “Let no debt remain outstanding” (NIV). “Don’t run up debts” (MSG). “Owe nothing to anyone” (NASB).  “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything” (AMP).

  1. Debt is considered slavery.
    Proverbs 22:7 reads: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” When we are in debt, we’re a servant to the lender. We don’t have the freedom to decide where to spend our income because it is already obligated to meet these debts.
  2. Debt was considered a curse.
    In the Old Testament, being out of debt was one of the promised rewards for obedience.

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 12).

However, debt was one of the curses for disobedience.
“But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. The sojourner who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 43-44).

  1. Debt presumes upon tomorrow.
    When we get into debt, we assume that we will earn enough in the future to repay it. We plan for our jobs to continue or our investments to be profitable. The Bible cautions us against presumption: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:13-15).
  2. Debt hinders our freedom to follow God’s leading.
    Ron Blue, an outstanding financial author, tells of a young man who wanted to go to seminary to become a missionary. The young man had no money and thought the only way he could afford seminary was to secure a student loan. However, this would have left him with $40,000 of debt by the time he graduated. He knew a missionary’s salary would never be able to repay that much debt.

After a great deal of prayer, he decided to enroll without the aid of a loan, trusting God to meet his needs. He graduated without borrowing anything and grew in his appreciation for how God could provide for his needs. This was the most valuable lesson learned in seminary as he prepared for life on the mission field.

When is it ok to borrow? 

The Bible does not give us a fixed list of scenarios in which we can owe money. In our opinion, it is best to avoid all indebtedness if possible, though there are a few areas where debt may be permissible, such as for a home mortgage, or for your business or vocation. This “permissible debt” should meet three criteria.

  • The item purchased is an asset with the potential to appreciate or produce an income.
  • The value of an item exceeds the amount owed against it.
  • The debt should not be so high that repayment puts undue strain on the budget.

Here’s how a home mortgage might qualify. Houses meet the first requirement since under normal economic conditions they usually appreciate. You can meet the second requirement by investing a reasonable down payment so that you could expect to sell the home for at least enough to pay off the mortgage. The third requirement means buying an affordable house—one with a monthly payment that doesn’t strain your budget under any circumstances.

If you take on some debt, we pray you will establish the goal of immediately eliminating it. With a plan, most people can become debt-free in seven years or less.

Day 2

About this Plan

Debt Free Living

Debt-Free Living: This five-day video study will show you how to begin tackling your debt. It starts with addressing the real issue. (Hint: it's not money.) Then, it introduces practical tools to help you take the first ...


We would like to thank Crown Financial Ministries for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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