Thursday, August 23, 2007

Debt and Serving

This evening as I caught up with reading my favorite blogs, I read this great article about debt and serving by Randy Alcorn. Randy points out that since the bible speaks of being able to lend which means that someone is borrowing, it is therefore sometimes permissible to borrow. But, just because it's okay to borrow at times, doesn't mean that we should not question our motives and look carefully at the results of debt. The Bible speaks of the righteous being the ones who lend and of borrowing as a curse that comes on the Israelites who are disobedient.

I really liked how he stated the following about debt:

"The Debt Mentality involves:
  • -believing you need more than God has given you the means to have.

  • -believing God doesn't know best what your needs are.

  • -believing God has failed to provide for your needs, forcing you to take matters into your hands.

  • -presuming upon God that just because today's income may be sufficient to make debt payments, so will tomorrow's.

It's one thing to trust God to provide for our present needs (Matthew 6:33). It is another to presume upon him by dictating (via choosing to go into debt) the demand for, amount of and necessary duration of his future provision.

Self-Examining Questions About Debt

1. Is debt my way of getting around depending on God? (Why trust God to provide when I can just go get a loan?)

2. Is debt my means of short-circuiting the God-created means of acquisition-including work, saving, planning, self-discipline, patience and waiting for divine provision?

3. What statement do I make to God when instead of living on what he's provided I insist on going beyond it? What am I saying about his sovereignty, goodness or timing?

4. What effect will my choice to go into debt today have on my ability or willingness to tithe and give freewill offerings tomorrow?

5. What effect will today's choice to go into debt have on tomorrow's freedom to follow God wherever he wants me to go?"

I consider myself to be incredibly blessed to have not yet in my life had to borrow money. God's blessed me abundantly with good health, a great family and a wonderful place to live. A time may come when I will chose to live elsewhere or find it necessary to borrow money for some things. When that time comes, I want to approach that decision with wisdom.

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