The Bible is an incredible book, and it covers a lot of life’s topics. The Word of God covers everything from everyday work at the office, taking care of our children, going to church, and even credit card debt! For people who are searching for what the Bible has to say about credit card debt, this article is written just for you. But before we proceed and give you Biblical wisdom regarding credit card debt, it is essential that we learn a brief history lesson about credit cards.
In the 1800s, credit vouchers came into existence, but they had limited capacity and were mostly private. It was only during the 1960s that people started using the plastic credit cards we know today. Back in 1946, banker John Biggins invented the bank card he called ‘Charg-It.” Charg-It was used only within Biggins’s local bank. Then, in the 1950s, the Diners Club introduced the first credit card ever to be widely used by many people. Now, banks all over the world today, including lending institutions, are giving out credit cards. These bankers and lenders are eager to lend people money because this earns interest income for them.
There is no doubt that credit cards can be very helpful during a personal financial crisis. Credit cards also provide us convenience; because of credit cards, things such as buying groceries, paying at restaurants, arranging food deliveries, and ordering items on the internet have never been easier. However, it is important to note that credit cards can also cause unmanageable debt. You hear countless stories of families or individuals who went bankrupt and were not able to pay off their credit cards. As Christians, it is essential that we seek wisdom and guidance from the Lord. And the good news is the Bible has all the answers we need regarding credit cards.
Being in Control
First of all, it is necessary for Christians to be in control of their lives; not only in one aspect but in every area, including control of their finances. When it comes to using credit cards, it is very important that the Christian practices wisdom, understanding, and self-control. We need to be in control of our credit cards and not let it be the other way around. Although credit cards provide convenience and relief, it is very important that we stay in control and always pay our debts.
In the Bible, we can find that God has given a specific law to the Israelites “not to lend money with interest” to their brothers and sisters or fellow countrymen (Leviticus 25:36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.; Exodus 22:25). God calls this interest “usury,” and it basically means high interest rates to the extent that one cannot afford to pay them. We can also read in (Psalm 15:5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.) that we are to lend money to the poor without interest.
Many individuals think that credit cards are “free money,” but that’s not true. It’s just that payment is delayed for a few weeks. Still, it is a payment that needs to be made. It is also important to note that many credit cards out there require you to pay a hefty amount of interest. You don’t want to waste your money paying interest that you can never keep up with—this is considered poor stewardship. It is especially important that we stay away from purchasing things that we don’t really need. A Christian is someone who does not constantly crave material things or use their credit cards for them. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (ESV) Always remember that the borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.).
A Wise Investment
Wise spending should be the goal of every Christian. It is crucial that we always live within our means and have enough money in emergencies. It is wiser to earn interest from our investments instead of paying interest on our spending. We need to know how to manage and handle our money properly. Jesus gave us an incredible lesson in investment in Matthew 25. Christians should know how important it is to invest, and we are given an opportunity by our God to grow our investments. Keep in mind that “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25)
Take note that credit cards themselves are not evil. Credit cards are truly handy, beneficial, and oftentimes economical. But as Christians, we need to be sure that we are in charge of our finances and not slaves to them. Remember what Paul said in Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV) Trust God and His word. Be content and experience true financial peace and freedom.