Debt is a monster that takes away the liberty that we have, if we don't know how to handle it. Proverbs 22:7 tells us that "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender." Yes, my brothers, we are servants to who we are indebted to.
Are you in certain debt? If you are, then take heart. You have the power in Christ to get freed and stay free from it. It won't happen overnight, but you surely can get out of it when you do the right things.
Here are some things you can do to get out of debt.
1. Realise that it's sin not to pay your dues
Did you know that running away from or not paying our debts is sin? The Lord Jesus Himself said that we must "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God" (see Luke 20:25). That means we should give to whom it is due.
Friends, it's wrong to justify not paying debts when we are in grave need. For example, we might say that we could just be excused from paying because we are unable to, or simply don't have the money. That's no excuse. In the first place, we shouldn't borrow from others if we know we'll never be able to return them. Better be frank from the start, and just ask a favour instead.
Psalm 37:21 reminds us, "The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives."
2. Make amends with your lender
It's best to make amends with your lender so that the matter would be settled in a good way. Proverbs 6:2-3 reminds us of this.
"If you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said— follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend's mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased."
Although most likely we would borrow from a friend who will understand, it's best to keep communicating with them until you are able to pay off your debt. Silence from the borrower's end will cause negative thoughts within the lender.
3. Do your best to pay up
Just like how Zacchaeus decided in his heart to pay up all his dues in response to God's grace, we should also do our best to make restitution to those we have been indebted to – until we have paid the last penny.
"Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!" (see Luke 19:1-9).
Paul also reminds us that we should owe no one anything, except to owe them the love that God wants us to give.
"Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law." (Romans 13:8)