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Released from debt trap PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ir. David Kurniadi for Rev. Ervin Harun   
Friday, 19 October 2018 01:18

Money is not the source of happiness. The true source of happiness is the Lord Jesus. Money is not a root of evil. Love of money is the root of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Money itself is neutral; it is neither good nor evil: depending on the person who uses it. The Bible talks a lot about money, because money can affect a person’s heart and attitude (Psa. 62:11).


For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many grieves – (1 Timothy 6:10).


It is impossible for man nowadays to be totally free from debt. Something that we receive and enjoy first and then we pay later is already a debt. Debt is given based on trust. We cannot owe if we are not trusted. We also will not give debt to people we cannot trust. Trust is the foundation in business and banking.


God also holds the principle of trust. He Himself is totally trustworthy Person.  He can be trusted in His words and His promises. And He also demands from us that we can be trusted.


God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? – (Numbers 23:19).


A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished – (Proverbs 28:20)


If we can be trusted then God will entrust us more things, including riches. We must be trustworthy when God entrusts us with small things, that He may entrust us with bigger things (Mat. 25:21, 23). Many people could not receive greater blessing because they were not faithful when God entrusted them with few things.


Wonderful! You are good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only little, but now I will put you in charge of much more – Matthew 25:21 CEV


The Bible told us clearly that we should not owe anything to anybody except love: Let love your only debt! (Romans 13:8).


Many people are caught in debt because they have wrong understanding about money and wrong in managing their finance.


They have wrong understanding about money, because they think that money or riches are their source for happiness. As a result, they become money oriented or money lover.


Love of money is marked by the desire to get rich quickly (1 Tim. 6:9).  Whereas, getting rich is a process. Indeed, for some people it takes longer time than the other. But some people want to get rich quickly and don’t want to follow the process according to their ability. They will use any means to get rich fast. This attitude is driven by jealousy seeing other people are richer.


People who want to be rich (quickly) fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them – 1 Timothy 6:9.


This desire becomes the root of evil. People recklessly use any mean to get rich quickly including making a lot of debts: excessively using credit card or even taking high interest loan. Making debt becomes their habit. It obviously is risky and can drag them into troubles.


Bad financial management causes people to debt. For example: spending money for unnecessary things following the desire to have everything they see. They force themselves to buy the things beyond their financial ability. This is because they don’t learn to satisfy themselves with what they have, though the Bible says: Be satisfied with what you have (Heb. 13:5).


Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God said: Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. – Hebrews 13:5


Do not spend your money for stuffs that decrease in value, especially when your budget is limited. It is better to buy a property than a car, because a car will depreciate its value shortly after you bring it out of the showroom. Meanwhile land cost will always increase from time to time.


Another thing is: if we have given our tithe (Mal. 3:10), it doesn’t mean that we can use the remaining as we like, assuming that it’s all belong to us. No, our money is one hundred percent belong to God, because: Wealth and honor come from God; God is the ruler of all things (1 Chr. 29:12). Tithe is just a sign of our obedience, but if we do not manage the rest of our money carefully, we could have financial problems though we have given our tithe, because we were found cannot be trusted in managing God’s wealth: the remaining ninety percent. But if we manage carefully the remaining ninety percent, then we become a trustworthy person and God will entrust us with more wealth. Remember, God holds a principle of trust in dealing with us. He entrusts His wealth to us, and if we are trustworthy He will entrust us more (Mat. 25:21, 23).


For example: If you are trusted by God with one thousand dollars and after you gave the tithe and spend your money for your regular needs you still could save two hundreds, then how much would you save if your earnings become five thousands dollars? Most of the people will think that they could save their money five times, or one thousand dollars. If you think that way then it’s difficult for you to get rich.


Actually when you could save two hundreds from your one thousand dollars earnings after giving your tithe, it means that you can live with seven hundreds dollars. So, if you would keep your spending at seven hundreds dollars when you could earn five thousands dollars, then you can save at least three thousands dollars. Then you will become richer soon.


But the problem is that people tend to change their life style higher when they can earn more money. For the sake of prestige they buy more expensive stuffs. Ironically after they earned more money they spend more that makes them cannot save their money and even deficit. Then they begin to use their credit card and pay only the minimum installment. As the result, their debts become swelled and eventually they cannot pay their debts.


If you are entangled with debt, do not run away and do not ask your pastor to pray that your debts will go away. It’s silly. Prayer cannot cast out debt; debt must be paid. We must settle our debt as soon as possible. If it’s necessary we should release our assets to pay our debts. Do not try to keep our prestige if we cannot pay our debt. Do not be arrogant if we still have unsettled debts. It makes us sucks. If we caught in debt, repent – stop making more debts – and settle it prompt.


We should not also give debt to fellow believers in our church. It is better to help them as best we can rather than giving them debt, because if they could not pay their debt to us, our relationship with them could be damaged and some even leave the church because of debt problem.


When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make vow than to make one and not fulfill it – Ecclesiastes 5:4-5


Financial problem that leads one caught in debts could also be caused by his promises to God that he did not fulfill. It damages God’s trust in him. Many believers when they were poor made promises to God this and that. They promised to worship diligently and to help the church ministry. But then, when they have established in their economy and successful, they did not fulfill their promises. They often miss the church meetings and do not care about church affairs. And then they began to go into many problems; financial problems, problems in their family and problems with their health. They do not realize that these all happen because they broke their promises to God. They undermine God’s trust.


If these things happen there is no other way except repent and ask for God’s forgiveness, and then fulfill the promise. God is merciful. If we confess our sins and repent earnestly, He will forgive us and restore us (2 Chr. 7:14)


Indeed we must set our priorities properly in this life. Our top priority is God (Mat. 6:33). We should never change it with anything. Second priority is our family. The third is our job and the fourth is our ministry. Do not neglect our job for the reason of our church ministry. That is not a good testimony unless you are a full-timer minister: your job is your ministry. But, to take part in God’s work doesn’t always have to be a full-timer; more important is to serve with full heart. We should manage our time in such a way that we may not neglect our job for the reason of our church activities.



The debtor will become a slave of the lender (Prov. 22:7).


Another important thing that will avoid us from debt is to realize the risk of the debt.  Debt is not without a risk. We should measure the risk before we make a debt and we should measure our ability whether we could bear that risk. Risks must become a warning and a consequence we must realize before we make a debt.


There is a risk that one who caught in debt can lose God’s glory on him. He cannot enjoy peaceful life. Indeed there are some people with thick face, though they have a very big debt, they look happy as if they have no debt at all. But normally people will feel restless if they have unsettled debts. They will lose their joy, feeling desperate, and some even could commit suicide because they were not able to settle their great debts. Their lives also cannot glorify God because they give bad testimony with their lives. They have shown themselves wrong in managing their money. They show wrong attitude with their greediness and money oriented. They follow their desire to get rich quickly. Their great debts obviously have shown that God was not please with them, because God has promised that those who please Him will not get entangled in debt (De. 28:12) nor beg for food (Psa. 37:25).


The LORD shall open for you his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend unto many nations, and you shall not borrow – Deuteronomy 28:12 KJV


Unsettled debt can ruin our reputation and troubles our family. Man who doesn’t settle his debt well will ruin his name before people, bank, business colleagues, and people in church. More than that, his family must suffer the shame and troubles. The debt collectors might intimidate his family and gossips would spread among the neighborhood. They must suffer for the things they didn’t do. So, think about this before you make a debt.


Good name is better than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold – Proverbs 22:1


Debt also could affects people’s attitude to become negative. They become hot temper or lose their integrity and credibility. If this is happened, they just add up their problems with more problems. Their lives become miserable. So, think before you make a debt.


We must put the above possibilities into our consideration when we are going to make a debt; this is to avoid us to debt carelessly. Remember, making a debt could become an addict. We have to keep ourselves from this addiction and control ourselves in using our credit card.


How to release ourselves from debt trap?


The first thing is that we must repent and ask the Lord to deliver us from debt addiction (2 Chr. 7:14).


If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal (restore) their land – 2 Chronicles 7:14.


Second: do not run away from our responsibility to settle our debts. We cannot cast out debt by prayer; debt must be paid. Pray that God will give us wisdom to settle our debt well and meet our lender to discuss and negotiate the settlement with a win-win solution. Don’t make promises that cannot be fulfilled. Always fulfill our promises, and if necessary, release our assets for our debt settlement. Don’t try to keep your prestige while you still have unsettled debts.


Settle your problem with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, so that your adversary will not deliver the case to the judge, and the judge delivers you to the officer and you are cast into prison. Truly I say to you: you cannot come out of the prison before you pay all your debt – Matthew 5:25-26.


Third: rearrange the way you manage your money. Put the settlement of your debt as your first priority. Pay your debt farthing and don’t spend your money for unnecessary and unimportant things. Do not buy any expensive things before you settle your debts.


Change your life style, learn to save and live a more simple life. We will not die just because we live a simple life, on the contrary we will live more peaceful life because we are not burdened by debts. We will have more joyful life without debt and become a good testimony that brings glory to God’s name. And God is able to fulfill all your needs and give you abundant life after that.


(This article was a summary of Rev. Ervin Harun’s sermon)



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