WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 2, 2022
TOPIC: PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS
BY T. O. BANSO
“The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives” (Psalm 37:21 New King James Version).
It is not a sin to borrow, but it is a sin to borrow and not repay. It is possible for Christians, including pastors, to be guilty of this. Although we don’t know the circumstances surrounding this, a prophet, one of the sons of the prophet, died without paying his debt (2 Kings 4:1). The creditor didn’t forgive his debt because he was a man of God; he wanted to take away his two sons as slaves. When his widow ran to Elisha for help, he saved the situation.
No matter the excuse anyone gives, it is not only immoral to borrow and not repay, it is also a sin. This is why it is very important to think very well, consider your income, pray about it, and, where necessary, seek professional advice, before you borrow.
To argue that borrowing is a sin, some people have used the scripture, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Romans 13:8a King James Version). I do not see anything in this scripture that condemns borrowing. The New Living Translation renders the verse thus: “Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others.” That scripture does not prohibit borrowing but emphasizes the need to pay back what you owe.
If borrowing were a sin, Jesus would not have said, “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 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 Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:34-36 New King James Version).
There may be justifiable reasons to borrow but the Bible says if you do, you must repay. Accumulating debts denies you of your liberty. Debt is like slavery until you pay it back! Proverbs 22:7 says the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is a servant to the lender. Therefore, ensure that you borrow only when it is unavoidable. Don’t incur debts or loans on non-essentials, but for investments when there is no other alternative. Be sure you have all the necessary information about the investments and you have the capacity to pay back.
As much as possible, don’t borrow for wants, if you must, but for needs. Differentiate between your wants and your needs. Avoid incurring debts to settle other debts. You will continue in an unending cycle of debts. Don’t borrow because others are or a bank invites you to do so.
If you’re going to enjoy financial liberty, you must be careful about debts. Don’t follow those who joyfully say nobody can do without debts. Most of them incur debts that are not tied to wise investments. Their debts end up becoming bad debts. It may amount to wickedness to borrow and refuse to pay back. It is like paying back good with evil. “The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives” (Psalm 37:21 New King James Version).
Avoid debts, especially when it is not for investments, and pay off your debts. I can’t overemphasize this. To pay off your debts means to give someone all the money you owe the person. Don’t enslave yourself to anyone or any bank. Many loan defaulters have lost their businesses and collateral to banks. Repay your debts.
Matthew 18:23-35 tells us the story of the unforgiving servant. In addition to the issue of unforgiveness, one significant thing in that story is that the two servants couldn’t pay their debts. They were bad debts. Don’t rush into debt. Paying back debts is not always easy. Make sure the debt is worth it.
Similarly, Luke 7:41-42 talks about two debtors who couldn’t pay their debts: “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” (New King James Version).
Don’t incur debts you won’t be able to pay. Not all creditors forgive debts as we have seen in 2 Kings 4 with the debt incurred by one of the sons of the prophet. The creditor would have taken away the two sons of her poor widow because of unpaid debt. The widow was not free until she repaid her late husband’s debt.
Sometimes, there are demonic attacks against people’s finances in form of sicknesses, tragedies, etc., that drain off their resources and force them to borrow to find solutions to their problems. Pray against such satanic attacks.
Pay off your debts. Don’t leave any debt unpaid. This will give you financial freedom and peace of mind. You may not have the things others have and, most times, they are wants, not needs, but you will not live in the fear of your creditors. Avoid materialism which causes people to attach too much importance to money and want to possess many material things. This drives them to buy unnecessary things on credit. Pay off your debts. Inculcate financial discipline. “Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough” (Proverbs 21:5 Good News Translation).
Stop praying that your creditors will forget or die! That’s not only ridiculous but wicked. Rather, discipline yourself financially, pray for God’s provision to pay off your debts, and take practical steps to pay off your debts, even if it’s little by little. When God provides, don’t divert it to something else. See the payment of your debts as a priority, even if your creditor is not disturbing you yet.
Because refusing to pay off your debts is a sin, it may hinder God’s blessings in your life; it may hinder your prayers. You have wronged someone by refusing to pay your debt. He has something against you. Matthew 5:23-24 says you should leave your gift at the altar and first go and reconcile with someone who has something against you and then come back to offer your gift. Go and pay back what you owe.
Telling people to pay off their debts is always a painful truth. Many debtors don’t like to hear that. Some justify or rationalize it, but the Word of God says everyone should pay back his debt.
I pray for those that life adversities pushed them into debts or have made it difficult or impossible for them to pay off their debts. The Lord will deliver them from such adversities. May the Lord turn their lives around and remove from them the yoke of debts. May He give them the wisdom to manage their finances.
Don’t be a wicked Christian debtor! Pay off your debts. Be a person of integrity. This applies to individuals and organizations, including businesses, churches, and Christian ministries. Give to everyone what you owe them.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I destroy every yoke of debt in my life in Jesus’ name. I will not be a wicked person; I will pay off my debts. I shall maintain financial discipline. No more unnecessary purchases or living on credit. Father, deliver those that adversities have pushed into debt. Let their adversities end and free them from debts. Open the doors of finances to them.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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