Slave to the Lender

A very timely post by my friend, Pastor Bruce Roeder.

According to World Magazine a junior US Senator in 2006 objected to raising the debt ceiling to 9 trillion. He warned that more debt "weakens us" and shifts "the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren."  

This same Senator is no longer a Senator but is the President. Today he wants to raise the debt ceiling to over 14 trillion. (Since this was originally written, the national debt is over 16 trillion.)

For some reason President Obama was a lot closer to the biblical position on debt in 2006 than he is now for Proverbs 13:22 states: A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. (ESV)

The Bible assumes that debt is not a good thing. In fact, debt is equated to slavery.

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. (Proverbs 22:7 ESV)

If you've ever had a credit card you struggled to pay off you know exactly what the Proverb means.
Let me give you an analogy. I have a debt ceiling on my VISA card of $2,500. Let's say I'm maxed out on the card and just making the interest payments that can be anywhere between 12 and 18 per cent on the unpaid balance. I am a slave to VISA and doing nothing to gain my freedom since I'm not dealing with the principle.

But let's say I have a another credit card, say Discover. This care too is maxed out to $2,500 except this time I'm not not making the interest payments. The slavery just got a bit worse as I accumulate more and more debt and am not dealing with the principle on this card either.

So, rather than exercise some fiscal restraint I decide to talk to Visa and Discovery and ask them to raise my debt ceiling to $5,000 each. Neither company blinks an eye and both double my ceiling although Discovery raises the interest rate because I'm becoming a risk.

In a short period of time I now have both cards maxed out to the new ceiling and I still have not dealt with the principle.

I've chosen a path to increased slavery and at the same time have become increasingly irresponsible since I refuse to cut my spending.

This is a picture of our nation since roughly 1972 when our elected officials from both parties simply raise the debt ceiling without any kind of fiscal restraint on spending.

The Book of Proverbs in some sense is a book of choices or a book of pathways. Choose the path of the fool and there will be most likely consequences to those choices, in this case a type of slavery on the backs of our children rather than the inheritance they would receive should we choose the path of the wise.

Chose wisely and our children obtain an inheritance (not only of prosperity but discipline as well). Choose the path of the fool, become a slave.

The wisdom of the Proverb applies to an individual, a family or a nation. It’s too bad our President has apparently changed his mind on slavery and chosen the path of the fool for an entire nation.