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The Bible on Debt With Ron Blue

Faith & Finance

Christian talk radio with Rob West

March 2, 2022

Humorist Ogden Nash once wrote, Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them. There’s no question that it’s easier to get into debt than to get out of it. Ron Blue joins Rob West to discuss what the Bible has to say about debt. Ron Blue is an author speaker and the co-founder of Kingdom Advisors. A HEART ISSUE Debt is more than just a money problem. Ron Blue says it is symptomatic of deeper issues. Money issues are heart issues. Debt is a money issue telling us that something in our heart is resulting in a problem in our wallet. We can't fix our financial mess or the heart issue behind it if we don't first stop to diagnose it and then deal with it. It's worth a bit of delay to fix what is really the problem for our wallets and our hearts. Sometimes debt indicates a prevailing lack of contentment. Often it reveals a lack of self-discipline or pride. Other times it is motivated by a desire to be accepted. Debt can reveal someone's need to control a certain situation or be a symptom of short-term thinking over long-term planning. Whatever the root cause of your debt, there is grace in Christ to face it head-on and to overcome it. DEBT IS NOT A SIN, BUT THE BIBLE WARNS US ABOUT IT The Bible doesn’t call going into debt a sin. But God always wants the best for us, so in His Word, He’s put a lot of warnings about debt. Here are a few of them: First, debt enslaves us. "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender"(Prov. 22:7). Debt obligates us deeply to the point of being a "slave" to the one who has loaned us money. When we have debt, we legally owe the lender first before we pay for anything else. Second, debt must be repaid. The alternative to repaying debt is tangible, material loss. "Don't be one of those who enter agreements, who put up security for loans. If you have no money to pay, even your bed will be taken from under you"(Prov. 22:26-27). The third warning is that there’s a real cost to borrowing. While debt seems "easy" in the moment, it always costs us more and later. We pay dearly for today's desires because we pay using tomorrow's income, but with the added burden of interest on top. Debt is an easy path to a harder tomorrow. Jesus warned against dismissing the real cost of our choices when He said, "For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn't first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?(Luke 14:28). The fourth warning is that debt presumes on the future. We can’t know what the future holds. When we choose debt, we place undue confidence in an unknown future. James 4:13-14 warns against this type of presumption. "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.' You don't even know what tomorrow will bring what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes." But perhaps the reason the Bible doesn’t call debt a sin is that not all debt is bad. Debt might make sense if the economic return is greater than the economic cost, such as a loan to start a business or get an education. Or a house that we expect to appreciate. If there is spiritual peace of mind and the decision does not violate biblical principles, taking out a loan might make sense in those circumstances. And finally, debt may be okay if it provides a solution for goals and objectives that can't be met in any other obvious way, like a medical emergency or job loss. But any other kind of debt is not good. Avoid it! LISTENER QUESTIONS On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Does it make sense to take money out of an IRA to invest it in gold? ●How does your income throughout your career affect your Social Security payments in retirement? RESOURCES MENTIONED ●Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor

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