The Only Truly Good Debt

I used to believe there is such a thing as good financial debt.

For instance, the argument goes that student loans are good debt because they are an investment on the future and the interest rate is very low.  Mortgages are good debt because you are investing in a long-term payoff and in property.

Credit card debt, on the other hand, is bad debt because the interest rate is high and you are often buying things you do not need with money you do not have.  Car loans are bad debt because the vehicles depreciate in value so incredibly fast.  Drive it off the lot and you have lost $5K or more.

I no longer believe in that kind of good debt.

Debt is debt.  Proverbs 22:7 (ESV) says, “The borrower is the slave of the lender.”  I really do not want to be anyone’s slave.

I have been paying on debt since I was in college 20 years ago, and I am tired of it.  I want to be out of debt, and I am working steadily towards that goal.

That’s why I do not like that America owes $1,000,000,000 to China.  We are slaves to China for more money than entire towns make in a lifetime, and that is only 1/16th of the national debt.  If we are individually responsible for getting out of debt, then the nation should be doubly responsible.

I hate debt.

I do believe, however, that there is a type of debt that is good.  Romans 13:8a (AMP) says, “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; . .”

The debt to love one another means three things:

  • We are expected to love and act lovingly towards each other.  Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Treat your spouse, your kids, your neighbors, and your co-workers with the kind of deference and love you yourself want to receive.
  • We are expected to always love and act lovingly towards each other.  This is not the type of debt you can pay off.  We do not retire from loving each other.  Loving each other regardless of who “each other” might be is a life-long endeavor.
  • Any other kind of debt needs to be repaid.  If you owe money, you should pay it back.  If you owe someone an apology, you need to make that apology.

I have two take-away questions for you today:

  1. What kinds of debts do you owe, and how are you going to repay those debts?
  2. How can you show love to someone else today?