Saturday, 12 September 2015

Beware of Debt, a Danger to the Soul

The Bible does not say that debt itself is evil. However, it does warn people about going to debt, being a surety for another. Proverbs 6:1-5 says:

My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

This is not intended as a warning only for the son of Solomon, the writer of Proverbs. It is wisdom for all us humans who have no wisdom from ourselves, but must seek it from God to be wise.  It warms that becoming a surety for another person, which to pay off the debts of that person, is a snare. Promises to be a surety are a snare of one's own mouth for debts are a snare. Debts hold a person in bondage to money.  

It is not that debts can hold a person in bondage to money, but that debts in themselves do hold a person in bondage to money. Proverbs 22:7 describes this manifestation: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. This is not a description of the culture of the time, but a description of the spiritual reality of what debt does to a person spiritually.

Debts hold a person in bondage to money virtue the moral obligation to repay debts (Psalm 37:21), and the spiritual consequences of not repaying debt which is the wages of sin - death. He who does not repay his debts sins by the very act of not repaying debts:  The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth (Psalm 37:21). Just as not paying the taxes, customs and excise of one's country according to the law of that country is to resist God (Romans 13:8) , the failure to repay debt is to resist God (Romans 13:1-7). 

Debt has spiritual consequences for the borrower. The borrower sins by not repaying debt, regardless of whether he has the means to repay the debt easily or not, out of pocket or in installments over time, or whether over a few years or over 30 years as it often the case today. It is not merely that the borrower sins by not seeking or trying to repay debt, but he sins by not actually repaying off all his debts, every single cent. Seeking to repay debt is not enough. One must repay it all off to the satisfaction of the lender who is morally justified according to the Moral Law of God in seeking to have all of his loans repaid.

Although the Bible does not say that debt is a sin itself, it gives many instructions about how one's attitude towards money and possessions should be. It has been said that the topic Jesus spoke most about was not Hell, but money. 

Debt is a danger to the soul because of the snare it lays to the soul. The snare is not hardship, suffering, or lack of financial "liberty". That is not the issue at all. The issue with debt is that it enslaves a person to serve mammon. That is what makes debts a danger to the soul; not hardship, suffering or lack of so-called financial "liberty". To Hell with your  so-called "liberty" or "rights' regarding how you want to spend, earn or give your money!

As long a person is serving mammon by seeking one's earthly needs, one of which is to repay one's debts, he cannot serve God. It is impossible to serve both God and mammon as Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: 

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Just like how the adulterous woman in Proverbs 7 pursued the foolish man (Proverbs 7:7-10), the spirit of mammon pursues all of us to serve him. He seeks to come out of his house to kiss us brazenly, and forces us to yield to him, just as the adulterous woman forces her victim to yield to her by her deceit (Proverbs 7:21). 

One may think that because one is a true Christian, one need to worry about ever falling into serve him. That one can even fall into thinking that is exactly how the spirit of mammon deceives. 

Beware of the spirit of mammon! He is to be shunned and avoided at all costs like the adulterous woman of Proverbs 7. He seduces with his debt which he promises to give his victims all earthly comfort to satisfy their anxiety for their earthly needs.

Jesus, on the other hand, said to His followers: 

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (Matthew 6:24-25);

Rather, Jesus said: 
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matthew 6:33-34).

So, do not be anxious about earthly needs as Jesus commanded, not suggested or advised, but commanded. Rather, seek for the righteousness of God and He will provide!