‘Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.’
Proverbs 30:8 NLT
When you think about it, you can be rich in one of two ways: either in how much you have, or in how little you want. Much of the recent debt crisis has been caused by our failure to be satisfied with enough. In a brilliant section of Proverbs penned by the mysterious Agur, we find this prayer: ‘O God, I beg two favours from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name”’ (vv. 7-9 NLT).
Having read that, always try to observe these six rules when it comes to borrowing. Debt is wrong: 1) When it’s beyond your ability to repay it on a timely basis. 2) When it prevents you from giving God what’s rightfully His. 3) When the burden of debt is so heavy that you can’t save for the future. 4) When it’s used to pay for the luxuries of life. 5) When you put others at risk by having them guarantee a loan (see Proverbs 6:1-6). 6) When it puts your marriage under financial pressure. Financial expert Larry Burkett said credit is the motivating factor for perhaps 80 per cent of all divorces. That’s not to say being rich guarantees you’ll never have family problems. It’s simply saying that putting money first and your family second can make you nothing more than a wealthy failure. So before you borrow, pray and ask God for wisdom.
Exodus 21-22, Matthew 19