Principles of Borrowing
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)
In recent decades, debt has become a way of life for many people. Personal, corporate, and government debt have skyrocketed, putting families, companies, and citizens at risk.
God’s Word doesn’t specifically say, “Do not borrow.” However, it does contain warnings about borrowing. Following are some principles that you, as a borrower, should know.
- Debt is not normal. The U.S. economy has become virtually dependent on a constant expansion of credit. But God’s people should manage their finances differently. Instead of being servants of lenders, we need to be servants of God.
- Avoid long-term debt. In Israel, the rule was: “At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts” (Deuteronomy 15:1 NIV). Today, the typical mortgage is for 30 years. Make every effort to pay off your mortgage early.
- Avoid surety. Proverbs 6 warns against accepting an obligation to pay for someone’s loan if you lack a guaranteed way to make the payments. The only way to avoid surety is by backing up what you borrow with collateral, or property, that covers the debt if needed.
- Pay what you owe. Paying back a debt may be painful, but it will add great blessing to your life when you maintain your credibility by paying everyone that you owe.
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