The Financial Times Part 2: The Spiritual Reality of Debt

Romans 13:8
      Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.

 C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): We take Romans 13:8 in its plain, broad sense…We believe that, as a general rule, Christians should not go into debt at all. “Owe no man anything” is a precept so plain, that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.

 C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): The Bible never tells us to get out of debt; it tells us we are not to have any.

 GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): My wife and I never went into debt because we believed it to be unscriptural…We would rather suffer need than contract debts.

 HUDSON TAYLOR (1832-1905): And what does going into debt really mean? It means that God has not supplied your need. You trusted Him, but He has not given you the money; so you supply yourself and borrow.

 WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): This furnishes us with an opportunity to remark two things. The first regards our infirmities in prayer. We often know not what we ask. The second, God’s method in answering us. He grants us while He denies. If He refuses us, He gives us something better in exchange, something better in itself, and better also for us…He withholds abundance, but He teaches and enables us to be content with such things as we have.

 C. H. MACKINTOSH: It is painful beyond expression to see the sad lack of conscience among [professing Christians] as to the question of debt…We think it very much better to go to God for our wants than to go to the very best of men.

 C. H. SPURGEON: Dependence upon God is the flowing fountain of success. That true saint of God, George Müller, has always struck me, when I have heard him speak, as being such a simple, child-like being in his dependence upon God…I should like any man who doubts the reality of faith in God to go down to Bristol, and go to Kingsdown and see the orphan-houses there, which Mr. George Müller has built. Now there they stand—substantial brick and mortar, and inside there are 2,500 boys and girls. They eat a good deal, want a good deal of clothing, and so on. And how comes the money? All the world knows, and no man can gainsay it, that it comes in answer to prayer, and as the result of Mr. Müller’s faith—that faith has often been tried, but has never failed. What God has done for Mr. Müller, he has done for scores of us after our own way, and in our own walk, and we glorify his name.

 HUDSON TAYLOR: If we can only wait right up to the time, God cannot lie, God cannot forget; He is pledged to supply all our need.

 GEORGE MÜLLER: When I was first converted, I would have said, “What harm can there be to use some of the money which has been given for the [orphans’] building fund [to supply their daily needs]? God will help me eventually with money for the orphans, and then I can replace it.” But each time we work a deliverance of our own, we find it more difficult to trust in God. At last we give way entirely to our natural reasoning, and unbelief prevails.

 HUDSON TAYLOR: Money wrongly placed and money given from wrong motives are both greatly to be dreaded. We can afford to have as little as the Lord chooses to give, but we cannot afford to have unconsecrated money, or to have money placed in the wrong position. Far better to have no money at all, even to buy food with; for there are plenty of ravens…and the Lord could send them again with bread and flesh. Our Father is a very experienced one. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning, and He always provides breakfast for them, and does not send them supperless to bed at night. Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shall be sure, Isaiah 33:16. He sustained three million Israelites in the wilderness for forty years.

 WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): A father may deny his wanton child bread to play with and throw under his feet, but not his starving child who cries for bread to preserve his life.

HUDSON TAYLOR: Let us see that we keep God before our eyes; that we walk in His ways and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Depend upon it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.

 C. H. MACKINTOSH: We fear the cause of Christ is sadly damaged, and the testimony of professing Christians marred, through lack of sensibility and right-mindedness as to going into, and living in, debt. Oh for a tender conscience!

 MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Many that are very sensible of the trouble [of debt] think little of the sin of being in debt.

 C. H. SPURGEON: I regard debt on a place of worship as a bad social example.


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