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Christian LivingThe Message

Debt According to the Scriptures

Savings, Borrowing (debt), and Investing.

The Spirit of Savings.

When we talk about savings, we talk about time, space, and money. While talking about money, others talk about borrowing money, signing promissory notes, and missing payments. In other words— debt. Either saving money or loaning money, it has a common interest—profit.

A good steward knows how to store treasures collected in the house of the wise and how to save something for a rainy day by putting the money aside. Wisdom is given to the wise people to live in wealth and luxury and is envied by foolish people who spend all they have as fast as they get it. Therefore, there is a treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise (Proverbs 21:20).

The houses of the righteous do exercise how to lay up for the future.

It is not all what we eat today, what we enjoy wearing, and what we smile about the blessings of today, but what we store for tomorrow, the treasures of Divine love that should be a part of us being a partaker of the Divine Nature of God. God’s grace is the oil that represents the Holy Spirit of Him that is in us and should not be taken for granted or taken advantage of but should be taken with care and humility, which is the right thing a wise man should do.

The foolish man wastes his opportunities and a chance to embrace the grace given to him. Instead, he prefers to continue to misuse his power of free will of righteous living that drives the oil to be spilled, which means driving the Holy Spirit away from him. The mind stops when a foolish man is swallowed by his exhausted desire.

“In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.” Proverbs 15:6: Our heart is where our treasures are, and God looks into our hearts and will never be left empty. God will never leave or forsake us; He will do it when He says it.

“The rewards of humility and the fear of the LORD are wealth, honor, and life.” Proverbs 22:
The soul of the borrower sometimes grows up the way we were raised. Our attitude towards life, our decisions, and our behavior towards our actions, though, when we reach maturity, it doesn’t seem easy to walk away from how we were raised. The shadow of the past lingers, and the legacy of the old seems to stay. My Mom told me once before and until now still in mind, to have fear in the LORD. Then, as I grew up, I heard another thing, and this is from our Bible studies, that God is a jealous God.

In my spiritual walk, I put this together at a very young age, which enlightened me to be joyous about the results. “God is to be feared because God is a jealous God.” I heard from Oprah that she raised this question on TV, “Why will God be jealous of her because of her fortune?” Though it raised an eyebrow to some, I continued to walk until I found the crown jewel, an answer for years that I never thought. To fear is to be careful to offend Him, and being a jealous God means not to be idolatrous. While Oprah’s fortune is unquestionable because of the hard work she succeeded, God blessed her without a doubt.

Scriptures encourage us to save and discourage us from Borrowing. For example, if we borrow money to put up a business and think that is the only way to change our status in life,  the Scriptures said in Proverbs 22:7— “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

Let us say that the rich are the banks that lend you a loan, and you are the start-up business person who rolled your sleeves, hoping your life will be higher than the standard.

Regarding Borrowing, when checks land on our hands and we start using them, we become businessmen but no longer free men. Instead, we become slaves of the lender; we work extra hours, more physical work, more decision-making, and more responsibilities.

Maybe we can get many opinions that are pleasing to our ears and encourage us more. It is worth being in debt for a few years and buying certain things we wanted but could not buy.

The distance between the rich and the poor nowadays is greater. In some countries, middle-income families are gone. The poor work for their money while the rich money work for them, and the rich become richer at the expense of the poor. The boss delegates the work to you while you work according to your expectations.

“If he can do it, why can’t I?” is sometimes a wrong concept if you start a business, especially using a credit card. You will be enslaving yourself. Luke has a written word about it, a piece of good advice to which we should pay attention—Luke 14:28: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

To follow up this written word in Luke 14, Solomon has something for us— Proverbs 22:26-27 “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?”

There was one time that I counseled someone about co-signing a loan and advised him not to do it. It is not because you do not want to help, but you might just put yourself to expenses beyond his means, and you, as co-signer, have a big responsibility.

Solomon’s wise advice here in Proverbs 22 is for those who make pledges and put up their reputation for collateral for another, which is a good thing to help but not wise.

When we owe someone, we must pay it back when the loan is up. When everything runs smoothly, and the economy is good, with low unemployment, taxes, and interest rates, our minds are set to take advantage of the current situation and pursue our desire to buy things we can afford at the time.

When the economy fell years later, many people struggled to make payments. Owe what is owed and pay what is owed, but how? That’s a tough place we could be.

Paul said in Romans 13:7, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” Lending money to people with low incomes to make a profit and not to help is sinful, especially taking his only means to cover himself for a cold night as collateral.  

God warns these people directly with His word when they come to Him for help; He will surely hear them.

Exodus 22:25-27 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.” Paul said in Romans 13:8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Jesus said, “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” (Matt 5:40) and also said, “Give to the one who begs from you and does not refuse the one who would borrow from you” (Matt 5:42).

We can stay out of debt if we are not in debt and keep it that way, telling ourselves it is not easy. There will be a time when the desire of the Flesh is compelling to resist, e.g., Buying a house, buying a new car, taking a vacation, eating in an expensive restaurant,  little or big things add up. It is easier to be in debt than not. As Paul said, it is easier said than done to owe nothing to anyone.

When the Bible said to stay out of debt is good and being in debt is not good, stay out of debt! And be happy!! If someone borrows money from you, especially your friend, you know things can happen that can cause you to lose a friend for not paying you back.

The best solution is to use the word in Psalm 37:21: “The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.” Though money doesn’t grow on trees, money can be earned, but a real friend is hard to find. Try to evaluate the situation. You did what was written in Matthew 5:42: “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”

Luke 6:35: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest.”

When you choose to love your friend, you deny the love of money, which is the root of all evil. Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other.

You cannot serve God and money.

The Flesh that investThere’s a saying that if you give a man a fish, he will eat today, but teach a man to fish, and he will eat forever. I have a personal experience about this saying and what the Bible said In James 2 -“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? James 2:15-16

Instead of giving them money to spend for one day, I gave them start-up money that they could use to put up a business. I helped about six families, and it didn’t work. Maybe because of their inexperience in handling a business, they used it for personal needs. Years came to pass. I never heard any more from them, not that I would ask them about the investment but how they were doing. They should realize that there is always a New Beginning.

In business, failing once is not the end of the world; it just gives us the experience to be careful the next time opportunity knocks.

Matthew 25:14—30 teaches an excellent lesson, and anyone should read it thoroughly. I encourage everyone to learn from my experience. Matthew tells the Parable of our Lord Jesus Christ. This parable is about the master who entrusted talents (Gold Money) to his servants; this story is about trust, stewardship, investment, perseverance, and laziness. When trust is given to you, cherish and handle it with care.  

You may receive more in return, and the chance will be taken away for those who mismanage or misuse it. So the Bible said at the parable’s end: “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Below are written words that you might be interested in reading to be your guide in your walk by faith, to fight temptations, and to be an inspiration to be a good steward of God. So let you walk and talk in goodness and be blessings to others.

May the Scriptures below guide you:

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel but succeed with many advisers.

Proverbs 19:2 also says it is unsuitable for someone without knowledge who hurries.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 28:26 Whoever trusts in his mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

Proverbs 24:6 For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and there is victory in the abundance of counselors.

Bible Verses about Saving & Investing: Saving up for a rainy day and putting your money to work in the hope of multiplying is wise and supported by Scripture.

Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

Proverbs 21:20: “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come, no collections will have to be made.

Proverbs 27:12 says that the prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 30:24-25 Four things on earth are tiny, yet extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store their food in the summer.

Bible Verses About Diversifying

None of us knows what will happen from one day to the next in our lives  – and the stock market. As a result, we are best served by diversifying our holdings to protect ourselves. James 4:13-15  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”

Why do you not even know what will happen tomorrow? What is your life like? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” Ecclesiastes 11:2

Invest in seven ventures in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

Bible Verses About Ethical Investing

When we engage in business and invest, we’re called on to be faithful and to deal justly. Invest ethically and in a way that doesn’t harm others.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard;  here is the conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all humanity.

Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles, but he who gathers money gradually makes it grow.

Proverbs 28:20: A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than vast revenues without justice.

Leviticus 19:13 You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.

Psalm 112:5 It is well with the man who deals generously, lends, and conducts his affairs with justice.

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself or who gives to the rich will only become poor.

Luke 16:10 says that he who is faithful in a tiny thing is faithful also in much, and he who is unrighteous in a tiny thing is also unrighteous.

Get Good Advice

Plan before making a move, Save as much as 10%, Diversify your investment, and be faithful to what you are doing and those who help you achieve your goal while in need.

  • Get advice and listen to the experiences of others who have been there.
  • Only a fool rush into many things.
  • Saving is good, but not at the sacrifice of your household.
  • Eat healthily, and you save a ton of wealth.
  • Wisely put your investment where you have control.
  • Invest in the company that gives dividends
  • Avoid day trading
  • Avoid chasing stocks when they are going down.
  • Do not put your money in one basket; diversify, and it will multiply.
  • Don’t be overconfident to help reduce investment risk.
  • Watch a glib talker whose intention is only to sell and make money.
  • Be faithful to God’s word and always ask Him first or tell Him your move.
  • Don’t rely on overnight richness; rely on God, and you will never go wrong.
  • Don’t forget to provide your family with what they need; God will provide what you need.
  • Keep seeking God’s truth, and money will come by surprise. There is nothing to hide our God will provide.

Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

As an investor, I did not ask for guidance from the LORD and sought assistance from the Spirit, and I admittedly say that it is my fault I did not do well being a good steward of God’s providence. If given another chance, we should not forget that all we have came from Him through the Son and should not boast. “In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and bless your efforts with success.” (Proverbs 3:6)

Please have a little, give a little, then invest a little, but our focus should not be diverted when the investment grows.

PROVERBS 19:17: “HE WHO IS KIND TO THE POOR LENDS TO THE LORD, AND HE WILL REWARD HIM FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE.” PROVERBS 22:9 “A GENEROUS MAN WILL HIMSELF BE BLESSED, FOR HE SHARES HIS FOOD WITH THE POOR.”

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