Is it wrong for a Christian to file bankruptcy?

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The Bible does not mention the word bankruptcy. Nevertheless, it teaches  that Christians should “Owe no one anything except to love one another” (Romans 13:8). And it also teaches that a Christian should pay what he borrows “The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives” (Psalm 37:21); “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed — Better not to vow than to vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5).

Living on credit and not paying back what we owe is not a godly trait. Christians should be faithful stewards for their resources. God’s children can’t witness for Him when they are not faithful in their finances.

Sometimes the believers invest their money and lose due to factors beyond their control (ex. health problems, accidents, death…etc.). In this case, it is not wrong to seek help. There are several types of bankruptcies for different purposes. some kinds actually give the believer time to pay his debts or  pay back a portion of the debt based on the income. Whatever the case, the believer should not take advantage of the legal system but instead be true to the scriptures and use the right relief to His situation.

The scripture mentions an example of a woman who came to the prophet Elijah saying, “Your servant my husband is dead…And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves” (2 Kings 4:1). Elijah didn’t tell her not to pay her debt, instead, He performed a miracle to help her pay it (2 Kings 4:2-7). Paying back a debt is the believer’s duty and obligation as he manages his finances wisely.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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