Financial Freedom Principle #5: Be free of debt

Debt has become basic to the fabric of our culture. Our government is in deep debt and many people are in debt. If you have the courage, check out the real time debt situation Many people have bought the concepts “To drive a nice vehicle I must lease or have an installment loan” and “To live in a nice house I must have a mortgage.” Those beliefs have led many down the path of endless debt.

There are several problems with entering into debt. I will mention two. First, it is presuming upon an unknown future. People enter into debt “today” with the presumption that the future will be the same if not brighter. When future events beyond their control change, they regret they entered into the debt. This gives the enemy much room to put stress, grief, and depression in the heart. As we find in Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in the heart causes depression.” This tells us when we worry we will be depressed. Many people worry themselves into deep depression and physical illness over debt.

Second, it puts us under the lordship of another person. Proverbs 22:7 reminds us, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” We are to be servants of God not man. In 1 Corinthians 7:23, Paul reminds us “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” In Romans 13:8 he wrote, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Here are a few other verses on debt: Luke 16:5; 2KI 4:1; Neh 5:3; Deut 28:1-2; 12, 15, 43-45; Psa 37:21a; Prov 3:27.

Being debt free is associated with paying vows. When enter into indebtedness we vow or promise someone or an entity we will wipe out the debt at a point in the future; whether those days are a few or many. When we sign our name to a credit situation, small or large, we are making a vow, a promise, to pay the debt.

In Deuteronomy 15, we read about the principle of the forgiveness of debts after seven years. That would be nice. Could this be our Lord’s perspective? Should all debts be paid-off within a seven-year period? In our day, too many times the plan is “How long can I stretch out this debt to make the payment as small as possible?” The problem here is, we could be saddling others (children, grandchildren, and those who come behind us) to pay off a debt we vowed to pay.

To be financially free, one must desire and strive to be debt free. It will take time, sacrifice, and determination. It could require us to eliminate some outgo so we can do more with our income toward eliminating debt. As one man put it, “My outgo has exceeded my income and my upkeep has caused my downfall.” Being debt free is possible. Strive to be free of debt. That is a huge step toward financial freedom.