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Borrowing and Lending (5 of 12)
What is Debt?
Many authors have written concerning the negative results or bondage which is the result of debt. However, the word "debt" seems to be defined in many ways. The variance of these definitions will allow you to identify your own position and find a definition from which you can feel comfortable. Some authors write that as long as the marketable worth of all your assets exceeds the total dollar amount of all your liabilities, there is no debt, regardless of how much borrowing has taken place. Others write that you may borrow as much as you pleased but you are not in debt until you miss a payment or violate your credit contract. A third and perhaps more accepted approach to the word "debt" is to teach that borrowed money used in the purchase of depreciating items is debt and borrowed money used to purchase appreciating items is investment.
The first definition is very dangerous and overlooks the fact that asset values can change downward very rapidly and that the liabilities do not change, leaving the borrower in deep despair. The second definition may be legally correct, but the borrower is still controlled by the lender. The third definition correctly defines the use of borrowed money, but does not properly define the word "debt?' Evaluation from the perspective of personal liability and control by the lender reveals that there is no difference between appreciating and depreciating debt by the terms of most contracts.
Debt can simply be defined as the end result of borrowing. Debt does not cause bondage. It is the bondage. The act of borrowing is the cause of bondage. Therefore, to find the truth, we must study God's word and determine the obedience or disobedience in the act of borrowing.
A word study of the Hebrew language will reveal that the words "borrow" and "lend" are derived from the same root word. The word "Lavah" in a secondary meaning is used for the word borrow and/or le ...
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