Blog #73 November 05, 2023

Debt is a subject I have been hesitant to broach. The worldly mind sees debt as a tool used for gaining worldly goods they haven't the money to afford. I see debt as a temptation and a threat to the growth we seek in God. 

Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

God sees and knows the heart of His children, all of His children. Whether they are faithful members of His flock or a people dedicated to the lust of the world, He knows the intent their heart. He knows what leads them to labor faithfully for the cause of righteousness as well as what convinces them that seeking truth and virtue is foolish. He also understands that money and possessions are just an excuse, for they are no more than by-products of His creation that can be used for both good or evil. Once again we are dealing with humanity, their ability to choose, and the choices they make.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Everyone that lives understands the problems of money. Whether it is a severe lack of or an obscene surplus. Whether it is that which is owed to us, or that which we owe to others. It is a trial we all deal with that produces more testimonies both for and against truth and virtue than any worldly situation we face. God values each of our individual testimonies of debt and stewardship, but for His children He seeks more. He seeks that we become a people of one mind and one understanding about all things, even debt. Within the fellowship, our common efforts in righteous stewardship can provide a much more viable solution to personal debt than we can ever find on our own. Our oneness with God, His Spirit, and His people is the very strength of the Kingdom. Seek to grasp the wisdom of righteous fellowship and how it can eliminate from your life both debt and the need for debt. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
4:10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 
4:11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat; but how can one be warm alone? 
4:12 And if one prevail against him two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I am not offering you a magical way to eliminate the dilemma of debt. A quick fix for this problem quite frankly, does not exist. Neither am I offering criticism for your involvement with debt. Debt is an integral part of our lives and the world around us. In fact, people worldwide have allowed debt to be a standard by which we gauge our financial stability. The creation of the credit rating signaled the victory of debt over the heart of the common man. Debt used to be a humbling situation that required us to go to a friend, a bank, or those quasi-legal institutions that loan money with the understanding that if we failed to pay we would face a visit from Guido and his boys. With a proper credit rating and the right credit card, debt has become safe, anonymous, and pain-free. In fact, some social circles respect debt as a measure of courage, and confidence in the future.    

Proverbs 6:1-3
6:1 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
6:2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 

This passage from Proverbs deals with concepts very pertinent to us in the world today. The word surety (a person or collateral that guarantees a debt) and the term "stricken thy hand" (shook hands with) a stranger, speak of personal contracts and business agreements we make in the temporal world. The passage speaks of debt and the way it affects our life. It points out that debt is more than just a financial concept. Debt whether it is something we owe or that which is owed to us, tests our steadfast faith in ways that are both moral and ethical. More importantly, it deals with our earthly obligations and their affect on our labor with God. 

Proverbs 22:26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.

Debt speaks to me of living life disregarding God. It is symptom of being alone with a problem and out of options. With no direction and no one else to turn to the natural man has to depend on the resources of this world and I think we can all agree that money solves a multitude of worldly problems. Through our communion with Christ we find fellowship with the Father, the Spirit, and the people of God. In this righteous fellowship we can learn how to escape the iniquity of debt and how to lead others away from the lust of the world. 

John 8:36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

In God, how we attend to earthly promises, agreements, and contracts are a statement of our desire to serve the Lord. Our integrity in temporal matters speaks to the veracity of all we offer the world in the name of God. Those we deal with see our truth as an example of His truth. Our honesty and diligence in attending to temporal matters shows the world that a God of integrity leads us.    

DC 101:13a-13c
101:13a And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts,
101:13b Behold, it is my will that you should pay all your debts; and it is my will that you should humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility, and the prayer of faith;
101:13c and inasmuch as you are diligent and humble, and exercise the prayer of faith, behold, I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance.

Financial debt reflects a temporal ability to own and possess without the need for funds to buy. In debt, we serve the lender until the debt is paid. If we do not pay what we owe we can lose what we gained. In our world today debt is a solution that becomes sin when we choose to need more possessions than we have the financial ability to own. It becomes rebellon when the need to possess threatens our ability to fellowship in oneness with God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God. In effect it fills us with lust for things of this world and causes us to loose focus on that which is eternal. I agree that none of us would ever own a house without a lender, but a vacation bought with a credit card goes against every tenant of righteous stewardship. What we value and how much we value it are the true indicators of the intent of our hearts that we can reconize and act upon.

Proverbs 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack; but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

2 Corinthians 9:7-8
9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.
9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work;

These two passages speak of God, the ways of God, and His Kingdom. The care of others is the path to true joy. In fellowship with the God and the people of God, we gain this knowledge by listening to their words. We acquire understanding by watching them live the words they speak when they willingly give of their own substance to another in need. We secure for ourselves this wisdom by feeling the joy of watching another grow because of a gift we freely gave them. Nothing in this world or the next can rob us of the joy we feel. Think back to the bicycle you got for Christmas and the happiness it brought you. Now compare it to the sight of your child and the delight on their face at the bicycle waiting for them Christmas morning. Such is the lesson God seeks us to learn in fellowship with His people. 

Mosiah 9:60-62
9:60 And again, Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had;
9:61 If he have more abundantly, he should impart more abundantly; and he that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given.
9:62 And thus they should impart of their substance, of their own free will and good desires towards God, and to those priests that stood in need, yea, and to every needy, naked soul.

Debt goes away in the Kingdom of God where the spiritual is always more cherished than the temporal. When a temporal want is no longer recognized, a need never develops and the temptation of debt is thwarted. When the intent of our heart is building the Kingdom of God, He teaches His people how to have all they desire. 

Psalms 37:3-4
37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

On our own in this world we are battered every day with the need to posses. The world teaches us to scorn that which is old and seek out anything that is "new and improved", whether we need it or not. It is a battle that God knows we are unequal to alone. Within the fellowship of the people of God, the possessions of this world lose both their luster and their appeal. In communion with the people of God, we soon realize deep within our hearts the true nature of debt. It is a bondage we don't want or need. When we allow our lives to be filled with our covenant labor, we begin to realize that nothing of this world can compare to the joy we seek in God. In the Spirit, our labor and the people we labor with can become more precious than all that the world has to offer. Our fellowship with God and the people of God helps us to turn away from the lust of the world. It fills us instead with a concept and a virtue that can and will lead us away from a life that produces debt. That is a very important step.

Mosiah 9:64 And they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another, both temporally and spiritually, according to their needs and their wants.

As we grow in this virtue of charity we come to realize that we are now faced with a debt we didn't know we incurred. Debt is also a part of our spiritual life. Sin is a debt unto the Lord that separates us from the righteousness we seek, but I must warn you; it is a debt we have no way to repay on our own. 

Mosiah 1:57-60
1:57 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. 
1:58 And secondly: he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you, for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore, he hath paid you. 
1:59 And ye are still indebted unto him; and are, and will be, for ever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? 
1:60 And now I ask, Can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay.

As believers, we must accept the idea that God created us and that we owe Him for the life we live. Again as believers, we have accepted the idea that we were born unto sin and in that we owe God for all the times, we failed to follow His commandments. If we are to accept God as our Father and live with Him in true fellowship, we must allow Him to join us in our obligations. If we are to be His covenant family, we must allow Him to show us how to free our lives and our future of the burden of debts both temporal and spiritual.  
1 Peter 1:18-19
1:18 For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 
1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ died that we might have the choice to live free of all debt to our Father, Creator, and Judge. Christ with His life purchased for us both immortal life and eternal purpose. All of us are debtors to God. All of us are free from our debt because of the sacrifice of Christ. We band together in fellowship that we might remain pure as we grow together in the wisdom of God. 

The concept of living a debt free life is more a dream than a reality. But with time, the leadership of God, and a fellowship around us striving towards the same goal it is achievable. This then is our path to debt free living. Turn away from the lust of the world and turn toward the ways of God. Open our hearts to the needs of another and allow charity to guide us. Accept the sacrifice of Jesus as sufficient for your sins, make covenant with God, and seek to labor with Him for His Kingdom on earth. 

Proverbs 3:5-6
3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Growing in God requires us to trust God. Becoming debt free and living debt free requires us to trust Him to be with us each time debt tempts us. In today's world, that is a lot.
Don't worry God is up to the task.
In Him we can be, too


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