DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: No one ever warned us about the dangers of debt, and after we got married we bought anything we wanted and simply put it on our credit cards. Now, we’re up to our eyeballs in debt, and I don’t see how we’ll ever get out. Does the Bible say anything about debt? — C.K.
DEAR C.K.: Yes, it certainly does; the Bible repeatedly warns us about the dangers of debt and urges us not to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by it, particularly when we have no realistic way to pay the money back. The Bible says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (Romans 13:8).
It’s unfortunate that you and your wife didn’t realize sooner how dangerous debt can be. Perhaps our schools need to do more to alert young people to this, particularly since credit cards and other ways to incur debt are so readily available today. Debt never goes away; it either must be repaid, or a person ends up in bankruptcy, which (I understand) creates a series of new problems. The Bible warns, “The borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
But the deeper issue for you isn’t economic but spiritual. Why did you spend so much? The reason is because you wanted more than you could afford, and you wanted those things because you believed they’d bring you happiness. In other words, the desire for things took over your life. The Bible has a word for this: covetousness. Covetousness is a sin because it makes things more important to us than God.
Seek advice from someone who can help you get a grip on your finances; your community may have an agency or other service to help you. Then commit your finances, and your whole lives, to Christ and his will.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.
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