There is only one place where the Bible says we shouldn’t owe anything:

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Rom 13 : 7 -8)

It’s a little ambiguous whether Paul means not to borrow at all, or just not to fall behind in payments on borrowed money. Further, it’s not clear that whether this is a command, or just general advice. (Sometimes Paul clarifies, such as 1 Cor 7 : 40).

Given that economic circumstances have always driven many (or even most) people to debt at some time, and this is the only one time “owing money” is condemned, it would seem that being in debt itself is not a sin. And in fact, Paul’s immediate qualification, “to love each other” strongly suggests that Paul is thinking of far more than just money.

What the Bible does condemn, frequently and passionately, is predatory lending.

“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.  If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. (Exo 22:25 – 27)

The underlying reason for this is because we are all in unserviceable debt to God, and he forgives us:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Col 2:13 – 14)

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