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God’s View on Finances

IS GOD’S VIEW OF FINANCES  MUCH DIFFERENT THAN OURS?

God's View on Finances

What is God’s view on finances?  None of us are perfect.  We live in a very imperfect world.  Each of us has different financial difficulties we face.  We all have learned faulty and imperfect perceptions and habits about money.  Let’s take a quick view at some of God’s views about finances in the Bible (an insightful look for those who believe or do not believe the Bible alike):

For Israel, debts were to be short term, limited, and automatically released every seven years WITH the retention of inherited, ancestral property.  This is MUCH different than our current system:

Deuteronomy 15:1-2

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he hath lent unto his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because Jehovah’s release hath been proclaimed.

It is Very Unwise to Take out Any Debts based on your Home and Personal Belongings – Do not get loans/mortgages if at all possible- they are arguably anti-biblical (if long term) and are NOT God’s system for doing things:

Proverbs 17:18

A man void of understanding striketh hands, And becometh surety in the presence of his neighbor.Proverbs 22:26-27

Be thou not one of them that strike hands, Or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast not wherewith to pay, Why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

*NOTE:  Before the 1950’s, mortgages and car loans were EXTREMELY uncommon practices.  Now the vast majority of people believe mortgages and car loans are okay or even beneficial for society.  Has it been beneficial?

DO NOT LEND OR BORROW PRINCIPLES- ESPECIALLY DO NOT BORROW:

Proverbs 22:7

The rich ruleth over the poor; And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Romans 13:8 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

NOTE: Romans 13:8 is frequently quoted to convince people to have “no debt”.  This is most likely an over application.   However, if you make a lifestyle of debt with no financial understanding,  it will take away your ability to love other people and live the life God intends for you.  God wants us to live a “simple” life.

GET RID OF THE RICH IS BAD, POOR IS GOOD MENTALITY: IT’S ALMOST ALWAYS MISAPPLIED AND TO MANY’S SHAME

In the book of Proverbs and throughout the Bible, it says continuously that the rich are wise and the poor are not wise.    We have to take out of our mind the glorification of being poor.  The lack of study and understanding prevents earthly riches and blessing that you can use to help others.  A poor person can be VERY limited in what they can do for the Lord on this earth (both in time and money).

GOD DESIRES US ALL TO BE GOOD STEWARDS

If the Holy Spirit leads you in a ministry that makes you very poor, then that is WONDERFUL because it is for God’s Kingdom.  Otherwise, you are to be the ABSOLUTELY BEST STEWARD OF ALL – which will usually result in much better use of your time and money.   Money and time management can be the beginning of putting your life in order and becoming a biblical “good steward.”  Greater spiritual blessings may follow quickly after you allow God to put physical things- such as your finances –  in order.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster

Bankruptcy and the Bible: Is it “moral” or “Biblical” to file bankruptcy?

Many times our clients find themselves in a moral dilemma: is it “moral” or “Biblical” to file for bankruptcy?   The answer to this is “yes.”  It is morally acceptable and “Biblical” to file for bankruptcy relief if you are appropriately in need of such relief.

In Deuteronomy 15:1-2, God’s law for the nation of Israel puts forth a “bankruptcy-like” system very similar to our own U.S. Chapter 7 system:

At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.

And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.

But, unlike our bankruptcy system, God’s “bankruptcy” or debt forgiveness was to happen AUTOMATICALLY every 7 years instead of the requiring the party to “declare” bankruptcy (as if you are fully entitled to it).   Note also, that with ancestral lands being required to stay within the family, the bible also offered very liberal “bankruptcy exemptions” to protect real and personal property.

Although the models of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are very similar to how the Bible dealt with insolvency within the nation of Israel, it is important to point out that our modern bankruptcy system is not identical – at least not in the spiritual or “national” aspects of “the LORD’s Release” (the Shemita in Hebrew).  These basic “principles” of debt forgiveness prevent social injustices such as slavery and imprisonment for debts. The greater spiritual aspects of the LORD’s release (the Shemita) are so extensive that entire books have been written on the subject.

Another important point is that bankruptcy is never or rarely “immoral” in itself.  However, the actions leading up to bankruptcy or certain abusive uses of bankruptcy can be immoral, especially when they are found in their extreme ends.  Getting loans without any intent to repay them is certainly “bearing false witness.”   The Bible warns to “neither a borrow nor lender be” and that the “borrower is servant to the lender.”   Keep in mind, however, that many times after making some bad financial choices, you will likely have no choice: you will need to file bankruptcy.   Bankruptcy is not “wrong” in itself: but continuing in financial irresponsibility after bankruptcy can and certainly should be looked at as “wrong” or “anti-biblical.”   At least, if it can be avoided.

-Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster

bible and bankruptcy