If we take God’s Word seriously, we should avoid debt when possible. In those rare cases where we go into debt, we should make every effort to get out as soon as we can. We should never undertake debt without prayerful consideration and wise counsel. Our questions should be, Why go into debt? Is the risk called for? Will the benefits of becoming servants to the lender really outweigh the costs? What should we ask ourselves before going into debt? Before we incur debt, we should ask ourselves some basic spiritual questions: Is the fact that I don’t have enough resources to pay cash for something God’s way of telling me it isn’t his will for me to buy it? Or is it possible that this thing may have been God’s will but poor choices put me in a position where I can’t afford to buy it? Wouldn’t I do better to learn God’s lesson by foregoing it until—by his provision and my diligence—I save enough money to buy it? What I would call the “debt mentality” is a distorted perspective that involves invalid assumptions: • We need more than God has given us. • God doesn’t know best what our needs are. • God has failed to provide for our needs, forcing us to take matters into our own hands. • If God doesn’t come through the way we think he should, we can find another way. • Just because today’s income is sufficient to make our debt payments, tomorrow’s will be too (i.e., our circumstances won’t change). Those with convictions against borrowing will normally find ways to avoid it. Those without a firm conviction against going into debt will inevitably find the “need” to borrow. The best credit risks are those who won’t borrow in the first place. The more you’re inclined to go into debt, the more probable it is that you shouldn’t. Ask yourself, “Is the money I’ll be obligated to repay worth the value I’ll receive by getting the money or possessions now? When it comes time for me to repay my debt, what new needs will I have that my debt will keep me from meeting? Or what new wants will I have that will tempt me to go further into debt?” Consider these statements of God’s Word: • “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8). • “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). • “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap” (Proverbs 3:21-26). • “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).