Did you know that God supports debt forgiveness? The Bible lays out a formula for the full forgiveness of debts every seven years. God does not intend debts to be collectible forever. God understands that society must periodically forgive debts in order to prevent oppression and other unjust practices.
The Bible strongly supports good stewardship and productive business practices. However, the Bible requires that all business practices take place in the atmosphere of brotherhood and not oppression. God does not support business profit when it results in defrauding or oppressing other members of society. God intends for us to take care of our fellow countrymen with sense of honor, protecting and providing for those who are the weakest.
The automatic forgiveness of debts laid out in the Bible prevents creditors from oppressing debtors. Without a bankruptcy system or the automatic release of debt, slavery (whether in its fullest form or just economically) would quickly follow. God does not want a system that supports oppression and the defrauding of people. Bad economic circumstances should not allow a fellow countryman to be forever imprisoned in a system of debts.
God also supports the forgiveness of debt because he does not want complex economic systems to develop that defraud the common people. God believes in protecting generational inheritances and preserving the rights and dignity of the individual. God would prefer that wealth stays in its proper place: with the common people who work and save for it. Everyone is to receive their just financial reward in God’s system. Work and productivity is to be rewarded equally among all people.
Jesus, the promised Messiah and Son of God, drove out the money changers that were defrauding sincere visitors to the temple in Jerusalem. The Bible also talks about God judging the wicked financial practices of a wayward, worldly economic system. God has no tolerance for fraud and financial oppression, regardless of its “legality” or modern acceptance as a new societal “norm.”
Therefore, God strongly supports the automatic, periodic forgiveness of debts. This forgiveness of debts prevents complex economic systems based on leverage and debt from developing in the first place. The method in which people treat each other and handle their economic affairs is much more important to God than achieving maximum profits or higher living standards. God wants to keep debt forgiveness as a common practice to make sure that everybody stays on an “even financial playing field” regardless of whether any individual is currently rich or impoverished. This “even playing field” is stable. It treats everybody according to their actual stewardship and economic contribution. The manipulation of people’s hard work and the diminishing of the individual’s wealth is not possible in God’s simple and fair approach to economics.