Financial Freedom
 

DEBT

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).

The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

     יהוה does not want His people to be in debt. The only thing we are to owe others is our love, which we are to give freely and in tangible forms. We are to be givers, not borrowers.
     The price for indebtedness can be high indeed. In ancient times, the children of Israel not only lost much of their land and possessions because of debt that accrued, but some sold themselves or their children into slavery in order to pay their debts.
     In Nehemiah 5:3-5 we find a mournful outcry from God's people:

There were also some who said, "We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine." There were also those who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards."

    This same heart's cry is voiced by a widow who came to the prophet Elisha and said, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared יהוה. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves" (2 Kings 4:1).
     The husband of this woman, one of the prophets who was associated with Elisha, apparently had died and left his family in debt. The only recourse that seemed available to the woman was to sell her children into slavery to repay what her husband owed. We may protest, "How horrible! How could a parent sell her children to work off a debt?" And yet that is exactly what we in North America are doing in strapping our children with huge national debts. The United States has gone from being the world's largest creditor nation to debtor status in a matter of only a few decades. What has been done on a national scale has also been done on an individual and family scale. Our children, grand children, and great grand children will be forced to pay for our foolishness.
    
יהוה is so opposed to debt that He doesn't even want His people to be the security for another person's debt - in our language today, that might mean being the cosigner on a loan:

Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge [signifying a loan],
One of those who is surety for debts;
If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you? (Proverbs 22:26-27).

Proverbs 13:23 sums up the situation:

“A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away.”

Another translation puts it this way:

“Even when the land of the poor produces good crops, they get cheated out of what they grow.”

 

Use your loaf and spread it upon the waters

Principle 1: Accept work as יהוה's divine design for you! (Genesis 2:15; 2 Thess. 3:10)

Therefore, it can be said that:
(1) People who refuse to work reveal a lack of common sense in their judgment.
(2) Sometimes people refuse to do the job that they have because they're always looking for a better one (12:11b).
 
(3) Refusing to work can lead to death (21:25).

Principle 2: Be careful for the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome.

But, just determining to see the logic in working and then setting out to work is not enough. It is obviously the place to start, but one must also. . . Prioritize his work. Do the primary things first; the things upon which all else depends.

After determining which things are primary and which are secondary, and depend on the former, determine also, the proper order of the primary and secondary things (10:5).

Principle 3: Do first things first, according to a plan.

Then, once a person has determined to prioritize their work by planning carefully, a person should work hard because. . . Working hard is better than working in a lazy manner.

  • Hard work brings a profit (14:23a).
  • Work done in a slack manner is as good as a piece of work which is later destroyed. Both are valueless (18:9).
  • Slack work leads to poverty (14:23b).
  • Diligent work leads to control of one's situation (12:24).

Principle 4: If you're going to work, you might as well work hard. . .there are many benefits. In the end, after a person has worked wisely and hard, he will often times find that his. . .

  • Work can be very rewarding (12:14).
  • We get encouraged when we say nice things to others.
  • There is, likewise, a deep sense of pleasure as we reflect upon a job well done.

Principle 5: Enjoy your work--it's יהוה's plan!

As time passes, a person who has worked wisely and diligently will find themselves rewarded by their labor as well as skilled at what they do with the result that. . . People who are skilled at their work are sought out by people (22:29).
 

  • Skilled people do not only serve before obscure people.
  • Skilled people will eventually be called upon to demonstrate their skill be people in positions of authority
  • Throughout scripture many were self employed. When one can move from employee to a self employed tradesman or business owner there is potential to further multiply your increase as the business has the ability to allow application of talents in an enterprise that is self directed.