Is Filing Bankruptcy A Sin?

I met with some new bankruptcy clients

is filing bankruptcy a sin?
is filing bankruptcy a sin?

yesterday, and, like nearly all of my

bankruptcy clients, they feel bad.

Horrible.  Their debt crisis is eating them

up.  Obviously, they feel like, filing bankruptcy

is a sin.  Or, that having debts they cannot pay is a sin.

What Does the Bible Say About Debt?

From the linked to article by Keith Rawlinson:

Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love on another…  Romans 13:8

This verse clearly instructs us to leave no debt outstanding; in other words, to pay off debt as quickly as possible.  Notice that this verse doesn’t tell us never to have debt, it simply says that if we have debt, we should strive to get rid of it as quickly as we can.

Pay everyone what you owe him…  Romans 13:7

This verse tells us that if we owe someone, then we should pay them.  Notice that this verse doesn’t say that we should never owe anyone–just that if we do owe someone, we should pay them.

It seems quite obvious, from these two verses, that debt is not a sin.  If it were, then God would have instructed us to avoid it, never have it, and keep it out of our lives.  Complete avoidance is, after all, what God teaches about every sin that He directly addresses in the instruction manual.  These verses tell us that God allows for debt in our lives, but that it should be paid back as soon as we can manage.

It does seem obvious to me, yet there are those who say it is a sin, or that charging interest is a sin.

Interest is really just rent for using money.  You use the bank’s money to buy your house, and the bank charges you to rent that money.



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