“. . . the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
There are many types of servants in our society. Some serve others in their employment in order to make a living and support their families, while some serve others out of love for them or their love for God. However, the type servant spoken of in Proverbs 22:7 is not a volunteer. This servant is in servitude by bad decision-making. They serve loan sharks, payday loan companies, title loan companies, and credit card companies. Most of the victims are poor, not well educated, and in some type of desperate financial situation. The sucker signs tell them “Easy Money,” “Get a Loan Today,” “We will Give You What You Deserve,” “E-Z Payments,” “Bad credit? No problem.” They believe borrowing money is quick and easy, but they are charged extremely high rates of interest, and when the time comes to pay, they don’t have the money. Therefore, they make a new loan to pay off the old one, and make a new loan to pay that one off, and it on and on it keeps going. Soon, they are paying only the interest and the debt keeps growing. They often lose a great deal in this process, from cars to credit, and they move from being borrowers to being victims.
People need wisdom in order to avoid the traps of predatory lenders. The book of Proverbs falls into the category of “wisdom literature” revealing wisdom of the ages, and more importantly, the wisdom of God. It says when it comes to borrowing, “Don’t!” God is good! He loves us, and he does not want us to live in servitude to loan sharks. Follow His counsel and just don’t fall into the trap of being a servant to the lenders.
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com