A Christian View of Debt And How To Manage It

by Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE on January 12, 2018

in Featured, Featured News, News

 

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Cassie Steele – OCP News Service – 12/1/18

Ever since Adam and Eve were told in the book of Genesis that they would need to work for their food, the Christian view has been largely that of self sufficiency.

However, throughout the Bible provision has been made for borrowing, lending and debt. On leaving Egypt the Israelites were told to ‘borrow’ jewelry from their neighbors. Later they were told not to charge interest to their fellow Israelites and through the principle of ‘Jubilee’ a person had the opportunity to be freed from all debts forever. But in the modern age when to have credit appears to be the norm and many transactions are digital, how can a Christian manage debt?

A Cashless Society
The Biblical view of self sufficiency, whilst valuable, seems hardly possible in a society where almost everything must be shopped for online or otherwise. Fewer people are paid in cash; tracing the rise and fall of of their income on a screen. Furthermore, purchases are increasingly cashless, with a greater dependency on card or virtual transactions like PayPal.

Credit Scoring
Expensive items such as cars, houses or land are rarely purchased outright, even by the most diligent of savers.  For many of us the only way to obtain certain things is to borrow. In this scenario, whether taking out a loan or applying for a credit card, your credit history will be checked, so it is important that you ensure that your score is satisfactory.

Use Credit Cautiously
Living within one’s means is another great Christian principle which if adhered to might enable you to take out a credit card, paying off the balance monthly and thereby gaining a credit history. A credit card is a useful way of creating a track record with lenders and can be indispensable for online shopping and other purchases. Problems inevitably arise when the card is overused and the amount owed exceeds the ability to pay it back. The card should really be treated like cash so that you only spend what you actually have.

In principle the Christian view is to not owe anyone anything. However that is always seen alongside the view that Christians are willing to help each other when there is a need.

In the absence of such help many Christian have found the careful use of a credit card a beneficial short term solution.

Source:
Independent – OCP News Service 

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