Thinking Cap # 21 - Bankruptcy?
What a beautiful way to get out of debt. In 1988 there were about 500,000 personal
bankruptcies. In 1992, the number had jumped to 900,000. Clearly we now have a more
plausible remedy for financial problems in our life and a quick fix. Is it an option for
In my opinion, here are some principles that I would use regarding this question.
- If one were to avoid indebtedness, then bankruptcy would not become an issue. Ro. 13:8;
Prov. 22:26 and Prov. 22:7 would seem to give ample warning to those who go into debt. It
could be argued that a home purchase is an investment (it will hopefully go up in value),
but just about everything else purchased on credit causes one to go into debt. The rare
case would be those who use credit cards in a "same as cash" mode, ensuring that
the cash is in the bank for all purchases. Going into debt in the first place is wrong.
- We seem to have a basic principle of "contentment" at issue. People tend to
feel that they "must" have items. Our necessities were our parents luxuries. Lu.
12:15; Lu. 3:14; Phil. 3:11; Heb. 13:5 and 1 Tim. 6:8 give us a strong lesson in living a
simpler life and not striving so hard to accumulate "things."
- For those who have found themselves in a situation of great indebtedness, I believe
there is cause to file for bankruptcy if the financial pressures are threatening the
health and well-being of a family member. This merely gains a sense of protection. The
Christian must be willing to repay every creditor every cent owed. I would base that view
on these principles:
- Christians are responsible for their promises and their commitments to pay what they owe
- To not pay your debts is behaving in an "unrighteous" fashion (Ps. 37:21).
- We are not to withhold payment for goods or services rendered (Prov. 3:27-28).
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