The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Proverbs 22:7 NIV
So often I hear people declare that they can’t live in a particular house or neighbourhood, or they can’t do a certain job, or they can’t do without something. Wants are presented as needs. I know it can be difficult to live in a challenging situation, but to say that you can’t is usually a bit of hyperbole. The apostle Paul said he could be content in any situation. He was so focused on God and building the Kingdom of God that his own comfort and security was never his priority. He lacked the selfish ambition that James warns about in his letter.
I have lived long enough to have shared life experiences with people over a period of decades. I’ve seen the choices they have made and how it has impacted their lives long term. I have seen people live within their means even if they were constrained, and I have seen people borrow to live at a standard they feel they deserve. To live within your means is to acknowledge that God is the provider and that he knows how much to provide. To borrow what you can’t afford to pay back is to second guess God and set your own agenda. In the end, heavy debt is always a burden that is never outweighed by the advantages that were bought on credit. Chronic anxiety starts to be coupled with a sense of guilt because, as a Christian, it is not God-honoring to have borrowed for selfish satisfaction. And, of course, you are a slave to the lender who can start to dictate what you can do and where you can live.