What the scriptures say about getting out of debt
Paying off debt can be a difficult task for many people. It is easy to get stuck in a borrowing cycle and accumulate more debt, with no end in sight.
Did you know that God never meant for you to struggle with debt? That’s why He’s written in His Word principles for handling money and living a debt-free life. Yes, there are scriptures from the Bible that can help you find your way out of debt and live in financial freedom! So you might be wondering, what does the Bible say about debt?
In this post, we will explore 15 scripture verses on how to handle debt God’s way so you can take the necessary steps to achieve a debt-free life.
Just know that getting out of debt will take more than hoping and praying for God to help you. You can rely on God to do His part, but you must also be willing to take action.
What does the Bible say about debt?
The Bible has a lot to say about money. There are several verses you can turn to for instruction about how to handle money and debt.
For example, scripture tells us that we are to handle our resources responsibly, giving the best of ourselves to God and not living beyond what is ours. (Ecclesiastes 11:13)
It also tells us that we should utilize every resource at hand in order for it to be used as an expression of thankfulness unto God. (Psalm 50:14)
We should not, however, serve two masters. (Matthew 16:24). God is our one true master and He has entrusted to us resources that we are responsible to handle wisely.
With this understanding, it becomes clear that anything more than what comes from Him we are storing up trouble for ourselves. (Luke 12:16-21)
When you apply God’s Word to your finances, you can trust Him to provide for all your needs. Following His guidance will help you manage your money wisely and get out of debt.
Here are 4 things the Bible teaches us about debt and why God is against it.
If you’re in debt, God wants you to pay it off
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” (Psalm 37:21 NIV)
I know it can be tempting to avoid your debt problems by skipping payments or declaring bankruptcy. However, these decisions don’t make the problem go away and they don’t honor God.
Of course, God extends grace to us in times of desperation and forgiveness when we make mistakes. It’s important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation.
But, I believe God’s greatest favor and blessing are experienced when we are obedient to His Word and will for our lives. And, unless we make every attempt to repay those we are indebted to, we are walking outside of His favor.
You cannot serve two masters
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)
You may think it’s ridiculous that you would serve money as a master. But, if you’re drowning in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and under financial stress, your money issues likely consume your thoughts. When there is anything in your life that you give more attention to than God, it becomes an idol.
God’s will for us is to manage our money in a healthy and godly way, so we don’t feel overwhelmed with worry and anxiety. This means living within our means, giving our tithe, and living debt-free.
If you’re in debt, you’re a slave
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)
God’s Word tells us that when you owe somebody money, you are a slave to that person. Until you are completely out of debt, you won’t experience the financial freedom He wants you to have. This is why it is so important to do whatever it takes to pay off all of your debt. Like Dave Ramsey says, “with gazelle intensity.“
I’ll give you some helpful steps later to achieve a debt-free life, so keep reading!
God has so much more for you
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
God never meant for you to be a slave to debt. His will for your life is to be free to walk in the purpose He has for you. That’s difficult to do when you’re bound by debt.
If you’re overwhelmed by debt, just know that He has a special plan for your life that allows you the freedom to fulfill His purposes. Don’t lose heart! Keep asking, seeking, and knocking. He will show you the way out and bless you if you continue to honor Him with your finances.
15 biblical scriptures on debt freedom
The Bible has many verses about how to handle your finances. You’ll find scriptures that address debt, wealth, poverty, and giving.
I encourage you to not just read them, but meditate on them and commit them to memory. Pray them over your finances, and let God’s Word help you manage your finances in a way that honors Him.
Here are 15 scriptures on debt freedom, money management, and tithing. There are also verses on how to handle financial stress.
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.
Deuteronomy 28:12 The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?
Deuteronomy 15:4-5 However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”
Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Proverbs 3:9: Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
Phillippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Matthew 6:31-34: So don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Phillippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Mark 11:23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, “May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,” and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.
Biblical principles for getting out of debt
When it comes to getting out of debt, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. God gives us principles to follow in His Word that will release His favor and blessing on our finances.
Remember – God wants you to be debt-free. That is His will for you. And, when you pray in His will, it is His pleasure to answer your requests (John 15:7).
If you’re struggling with condemnation over your financial mistakes, recognize this as an attack from the enemy. The Holy Spirit comes to convict, not condemn. And, conviction leads to repentance, not shame. Ask God to help you overcome the attacks of the enemy so you can move forward in His grace, to accomplish the tasks He’s set before you.
When you follow these biblical principles, you can receive God’s guidance to pay off your debt and manage your finances in a way that honors Him.
#1 Spend daily time in prayer
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.” Psalm 107:19
Did you know that God is just waiting for you to ask Him for help? He knows that when you cry out to him in distress, bringing your burdens to Him, then you are in the perfect place to allow His power to move.
So, invite God to do what He already wants to do. Tell Him about your worries and concerns, no matter how trivial or small. Ask for what you need, for Him to move on your behalf, and for His favor to rest on your efforts to achieve financial freedom.
If you are a follower of Jesus, He has given you the power to overcome every work of the enemy (Luke 10:19), who wants to keep you in bondage. Speak that authority over your finances and claim, in faith, the deliverance God has for you.
#2 Take action
“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24
Once you’ve prayed about your financial situation, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to pay off your debt.
As the author Mark Batterson often says, “Work like it depends on you, and pray like it depends on God.”
So, take action. Create a plan. Then work the plan.
And, as you carry out your plan, God will guide your steps (Proverbs 16:9). He will give you the wisdom and clarity you need to achieve His purposes for you.
I’ll give some helpful tips later in this post for how to take practical action to pay down your debt.
#3 Take your debt seriously
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” (Psalm 37:21)
When you borrow from anyone, God wants you to pay your debt back as soon as you can. He does not want you to be a slave to any lender.
This means your debt payoff must be a priority. You should make the necessary sacrifices to pay back what you owe. Only paying the minimum payment every month as you continue to charge up your credit cards is defeating your efforts.
Cut your expenses and create a budget that allows more of your income to be applied to your debt. Make it a priority!
#4 Live within your means
“God knows how to give you more than enough of what you need for today, and still meet your needs tomorrow.” (Proverbs 30:25)
People often go into debt because they want a lifestyle that their income can’t support. They make financial decisions based on emotion or buy more than they need to keep up with the neighbors.
If you struggle to live within your means, create a budget that only relies on the income you make. And, ask God to help you be content with what He’s already blessed you with.
#5 Practice gratitude
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1
A heart of gratitude and contentment will help you achieve a debt-free life. You stop focusing on what you don’t have, and appreciate more what you do have.
One way to foster a grateful heart is by keeping a gratitude journal. Write down something you’re thankful for every day. Be sure to thank God for the prayers He’s already answered, even if you haven’t yet experienced them. Claim, in faith, His promises over your finances.
5 Steps to achieve debt freedom
God wants you to trust Him with your finances, but He also wants you to do your part in managing your money well.
Here are 5 practical steps you can take to pay off your debt and live a debt-free life:
Make a commitment to be debt-free
As you take steps to pay off your debt, you will inevitably encounter some roadblocks along the way. You might get laid off or have to take on some medical bills. Surprise expenses will slow down your progress and you may get discouraged.
This is why it’s important that you make a commitment to be debt-free no matter what obstacles you come up against.
Don’t trick yourself into believing that your finances are beyond your control. No matter how much debt you’re in, God has already given you the power and authority to overcome and have victory!
Make a decision and take a stand for your financial future. Commit to doing whatever it takes to pay off your debt, and stay out of debt.
You could even write out your commitment and sign it. Then you could pray over it daily and ask God for the wisdom and endurance you need to see it through.
Have a written plan
If you want to get out of debt, you need to have a plan to follow. This includes writing down every debt balance you have and creating a budget.
Writing out all of your debts will ensure every balance is accounted for and give you an accurate picture of what you owe. You can use this information to prioritize your debts and estimate a timeline for paying everything off.
Then you want to create a budget that supports your debt payoff plan. Find expenses that can be reduced or eliminated and apply the money you save to your debt. The more you can cut out of your budget, the faster you’ll achieve a debt-free life.
Stick to cash only
One way you can avoid debt is by paying with cash only. Don’t carry credit cards with you so they’re not even an option.
If you don’t have enough cash, then you don’t make the purchase. This will help you to live within your means and stick to your budget so you can get out of debt faster.
Build an emergency fund
You might think that it’s best to apply every spare dollar to your debt, but this will leave you without any savings. It’s important to have an emergency fund for those surprise expenses that must be paid for immediately. Otherwise, you might find yourself deeper in debt.
Get in the habit of saving money, even if it’s just $5 a week. This discipline will give you a financial cushion so you’re not relying on credit cards to pay for emergencies.
Be faithful in giving
It might not seem logical to give money away when you’re trying to pay off debt. But God knows how easy it is for us to put our trust in money instead of trusting in Him to provide. That’s why it’s important to keep tithing even as you pay off your debt.
When you’re faithful in giving, you’re exercising the biblical principle of sowing and reaping. The Bible tells us that “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). This is a promise you can claim over your finances, as you sow your tithe and trust Him to provide what you need to get out of debt.
As you can see, the Bible says a lot about debt!
Being in debt can feel like a heavy burden you’ll never be free of. It may seem impossible, but “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
God is on your side and He is faithful to lead you out of your debt and have victory in financial freedom. Turn to His Word for wisdom and direction and claim His promises over your finances.
It will take time and require sacrifice, but God will honor your efforts!
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