April 19, 2021

Wisdom in Debt Free Living

Written by Boyd Bailey

Owing only the debt of love frees our souls to inhale and exhale the rarified air of generous love.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 19, 2021

When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.” 2 Kings 4:7

My generous grandmother helped my single mother—with three sons—pay off her debt and instructed her on how to stay out of debt. Though we had little, we had peace of mind that was elusive to other families with more money but beholden to debt—and held hostage by fear. Momma taught me to pay $500 cash for my first car—a used Ford LTD. Big and obnoxious, but it took me from point A to point B. By God’s grace, saving for what we could afford has served us well all these years later. Grandmother gave Mom and me the gift of paying off debt.

An unnamed mom in Scripture was moved to seek assistance for fear of losing to creditors her most prized possessions—her two sons. The God-fearing widow wisely went to the man of God—Elisha, and asked for help. Her dead husband was the prophet’s ministry colleague and friend. Though she was still in a state of grief, he did not prey on her emotional condition by creating codependency, nor did he offer pious platitudes of prayer and ignore the desperate situation. Instead, he asked her to take a step of faith by being innovative in what he knew she could do; make olive oil. She humbled herself to her friends and asked for their empty containers to fill. Resourcefully and in faith she did her part by gathering the jars, and God did His part by filling the jars. The humble, wise widow and her two boys were given the gift of paying off debt with leftover assets to live on! 

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV).

How can we give the gift of paying off debt to other worthy souls? We look for those who really desire assistance. They want help for the sake of something bigger than themselves:  their children, their community, their Savior Jesus Christ. They are the 20% who are willing to do the hard work, be creative, change habits and trust the Lord to work in ways that are not our ways. Be intentional to invest in humble, wise hearts willing to ask those in their network for resources to help them meet their debt free goals. God takes Spirit-led efforts and exceeds our expectations!

When the people of God serve the people of God with the gift of paying off debt, those outside the faith will clammer to learn of this elevated level of generous love. Owing only the debt of love frees our souls to inhale and exhale the rarified air of generous love. A love not encumbered by creditors attempting to confiscate our joy and replace it with resentment. A love that gives a willing heart a fresh start to follow God’s heart. Be grateful for those who helped pay off your debt, so now you can be generous and do the same for coachable friends in the faith. 

“Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love” (Romans 13:8-10).


Heavenly Father, lead me to be debt free, so I can generously help others become and remain debt free, in Jesus’  name, amen.


What friend or relative, who really wants the help, can I help become debt free?

Related Reading

Nehemiah 5:3-5; Proverbs 17:18, 22:7; Matthew 6:24; Luke 7:41-50

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