Debt Settlement: Is It a Sin or Scriptural?

I recall my pastor mentioning something in a recent sermon on the subject of money that is very valuable for someone looking for a breakthrough where their debt and finances are concerned. So let’s start with something that is important to God – your character.


I am a firm believer that a person’s character is one of the best indicators of how much success they attract in their future. We all have areas under construction, but at some point victory should be won! So here is one area we’ll consider today.  

Let’s say you and I have a similar passion and interest and think we would make a good team. We begin tossing the idea around about how to take what we love to do and make profits. We set up meetings, research, obtain new information and educate ourselves through seminars in an effort to make this a success.


We start a company and are making money! It gets good and we lean on one another for our various strengths as we recognize how to bring out the best in one another. But after awhile, I don’t keep appointment times, I cancel meetings, I don’t return your calls as quickly as before and you are carrying the load.

You’re stressed because we’re in this together and we have worked hard to get here. At the very least, you would want to know what happened.


Well, let’s look at your debt obligations in the same light. Life is good. You sign up for a credit card or charge card. You keep your word and make payments back as agreed in the written contract. You obtain a car loan and make payments with no problems. You buy a home with a mortgage, enjoying the home, paying as it is written in the contract.

After some time has passed, a major event takes place. Hours have been cut, so you can’t pay the credit cards every month on time, but they do get paid late. You do what you can until things turn around.


More time passes and you’re unable to pay the credit cards, your car note is late, and your mortgage is threatened. You’re looking for another job, but things are difficult as your savings is rapidly dwindling. Up to this point, you have done your best in keeping your obligations. However, things have changed. What do you do now? You’ve prayed, but nothing seems to have manifested as quickly as you prefer.


This is similar to the partnership situation previously mentioned. Things were perfect in the earlier years with your creditors, but as the situation changed you failed in the communication. Immediately when your situation changes beyond your control, you should be on the phone with your creditors. Answer the phone if they call you first and notify them that you will be mailing them a letter properly communicating the events that have transpired.


In the letter, you indicate that you will be updating them every three months as to what you are able to do. In secret, do what you can to have this turned around in 6 months. Please do not obligate yourself to something without first sitting down to rework your budget to know what you can do.

Not only do you pay what you say you will, but send in a few dollars more. Send it in well before it’s due. If your interest rate has increased as a result of being late, plan to pay a few months according to your new agreement. After you have been consistently on time (preferably early) ask for your interest rate to return to the original agreement.


By this time you should be back on your feet and figured out how to cut your lifestyle and do different things to generate income. After all is really well, ask them to re-age your account for the time of your hardship. This restores your payment status to “on time” and adjusts your payment back to the original amount.


The re-aging will assist in your credit score going up more quickly than had you not asked for it. Never hurts to ask; just hurts when you don’t know what to ask for.


So you may ask: how would God feel about how I handled this matter? It depends; did you ask him? I suggest you pray for his wisdom first and foremost. However, while you’re listening for how he instructs you personally, recall what he already said in his word that deals with someone whom could not pay what was owed and the outcome.


Remember the Parable of the unforgiving Servant [Matthew 18:23-34]. Look at verse 26: “Have patience with me and I will pay you all”.

Does that sound familiar? It should. You can’t be both pitiful and powerful – which one are you? When you do what you promise or pay back what you borrowed as agreed, you show God that he can trust you when things are good AND when times get tough.


So talk with the creditors, let them know what has happened. Mercy and compassion can be extended if you communicate. It’s been happening since biblical times.


I leave you today with the idea of becoming debt free. If God can trust you with money owed to others and you pay as agreed, why wouldn’t you be a prime example of him giving you your own riches where you owe no man nothing but to love him?


Nothing is impossible to those who believe!


Sharing with you the gift that God has given me,


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