Chuck Bentley Answers: Is It Sinful to be in Debt?

Dear Chuck,

Is it a sin to be in debt? I feel guilty for having debt. 

Not Debt Free

Dear Not Debt Free,

No, there is not a law or command in the Bible to be out of debt, but it is a good principle to live by.

Like you, most Christians probably know that it is best to live debt-free. The belief has been so popularized that it may overshadow more important Biblical financial principles. Having studied this topic for the past 20 years, it is my opinion that getting out of debt should not be a believer’s primary or ultimate goal.

While it is important to pay off your debt, I believe there are three areas of greater significance that should concern us regarding stewardship.

Chuck Bentley (Courtesy of Christian Economic Forum)

Get Out of Claiming Ownership

The Bible makes it very clear that you and I do not own anything; we are God’s stewards.  We came into the world naked and will depart in the same condition. This is not simply good theology, but a truth that God wants us to put into practice. If we claim ownership of our money and possessions, we become materialistic and vulnerable to placing our identity in what we have. The weight of trying to accumulate, protect, maintain, and grow our things can control our lives.

Here are three ways to get out of the ownership trap:

  1. Give it to the Lord. Make a quitclaim deed that represents your surrender of it all to Him. Record everything you think you own and declare with your mind and heart that it all belongs to God.
  2. Catch yourself whenever you say “mine.”
  3. Get into learning the joy of being a faithful steward.

Psalm 24:1 (ESV) proclaims, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley