What Does The Bible Say About Someone Owing You Money

The Bible, a holy book for many religious denominations, confronts the ethical and legal topics of someone owing money to another. In the Bible, references to debt and debtors are found throughout numerous books that are fused into different interpretations and teachings. The idea of someone owing someone else money appears to be a natural component of our society, which is why there is consistent mentions of it and ways to handle debt.

The Bible does not condemn debt in general, but it does offer some guidelines for how debt should be considered and how it should be managed. In Deuteronomy 15:6, it is written that any loan made to a fellow Israelite should not require interest over a certain amount. This part of the Bible seems to suggest that it is against the principles of God to take advantage of someone who is indebted to you. Throughout the various books in the Bible, there are other passages that place a high emphasis on settling debt, respecting agreements, and doing everything possible to avoid taking unfair advantage of someone else.

The Bible’s emphasis on debt is further seen in many stories throughout its various books. In the story of Joseph and the Pharaoh, Pharaoh shows mercy on the people of Egypt by offering to take them in when their land is struck by a famine. Regardless of the favor, Joseph is still expected to pay back the debt in the form of grain and other goods. In another story, Zacchaeus promised to pay back more to those he affected with his lending activities if he took more than what was owed instead of the typical interest.

The principle of not taking advantage of someone who owes you money appears to be perfectly in line with what the Bible teaches. The Bible focuses not just on forgiving debt, but also on communicating with debtors and staying away from being too harsh.

In the Bible, there are a number of passages that emphasize treating debtors with mercy and patience. In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches his followers to forgive their debtors seventy times seven, which serves to illustrate the importance of continually forgiving those that owe you money. In the book of Proverbs, debtors are instructed to not default on their debts. This is based on the idea that those with debts should attempt to reach out to their creditors in order to come up with some type of payment plan.

Giving to the Needy

Debt relief is also a factor in biblical teachings. In the book of Isaiah, God is quoted as saying that he “will give you relief from your loans”, which serves as an indication that loaning money with no intention of repaying is generally frowned upon. It is also important to note here that another theme within the Bible is the idea of giving to the needy. This tends to be seen in a few different forms, such as giving to those who are in need when they appear and offering help when a person is having trouble repaying their debt. The overarching message here appears to be that one should be generous and charitable when it comes to lending and that trying to collect on debt beyond a certain point is frowned upon.

Not Lending to Unscrupulous People

The underlying theme of lending to others appears to be twofold in the Bible. The Bible encourages people to lend to those who can be relied upon to pay them back, while at the same time discouraging those from lending to people who cannot show evidence that they will return what is owed. This is seen in the story of the wise man who loans money to those who seem reliable and “will not lend to the wicked.” The emphasis here appears to be on not taking unnecessary risks when loaning money.

Borrowers Must Treat Lenders With Respect And Honour

The issues of borrowing and lending are also present in the writings of Paul. Paul encourages those who borrow to treat those who loan money with respect, honor, and consideration, suggesting that those who are indebted need to make amends with their creditors in good faith. This can include apologizing for the debt, expressing sorrow for any dishonesty, and attempting to work out an agreement that will benefit the lender instead of taking advantage of them, which is seen as inappropriate under the teachings of the Bible.

Owe No Man Anything

The general theme for debt in the Bible seems to be a mix of mercy and responsibility. While it does bring up the idea of forgiving debt and helping those who are burdened by it, it also serves as a reminder that debt should be handled responsibly, with respect for the requirements of a contract and a willingness to work with creditors. One of the most famous quotes from the Bible on debt is found in the book of Romans and reads, “Let no debt remain outstanding…” This indicates that debtors should do their best to pay back what they owe in a timely and respectful manner, which appears to be the primary message that applies today.

Seeking God’s Help When Downed By Debts

The Bible doesn’t just focus on the issue of debt, but also on God’s help in handling such challenging times. In many places throughout the Bible, it is written that the Lord will be with those who are struggling with debt. God is seen as a powerful source of strength who, while not giving debtors an escape from their debts, can help them to manage it and be free from its worries. This message appears to be almost comforting to those who may be financially struggling, offering them with the hope that God is with them and that He will provide assistance.

Make Reasonable Payment Plans With Lenders

The Bible doesn’t just focus on what to do when someone owes money, but also on how to do it. Many passages throughout the Bible focus on forming agreements with creditors that are equitable for both parties. In the book of Deuteronomy, lenders and debtors are urged to come up with payment plans to avoid interest and other types of unneeded fees. In a similar fashion, the Bible urges people to be careful with the amount they lend and willing reach out to those in need with compassion. This is meant to remind people that they should be making agreements that are fair and agreeable to both parties.

Ladies Must Not Lend To Take Advantage

The Bible also speaks to women in regard to lending money to another. In the book of Proverbs, women are warned not to lend money in order to take advantage of someone in need. This can be seen as a reminder that lending money should never be used as a way of getting something from someone else. Lending should only be done when someone is in need and can reasonably repay the debt according to the terms of the agreement.

Expect Repayment Of Debt

Overall, the Bible’s overall message appears to be clear: while it is important to forgive and show mercy, debtors should still expect repayment of the debt. The Bible provides numerous examples of this type of approach, such as Joseph and the Pharaoh, Zacchaeus, and other stories. Debtors are urged to not take advantage of their creditors, to form fair and equitable payment arrangements, and to remember that God can provide them with the strength to face their challenges. This message appears to be in line with what we see in both religious and secular settings today.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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