What Are the Answers?


The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Proverbs 22:7 (ESV®)

  1. Give most people a chance to express their thoughts. Basically, the characters in the skit have no understanding of or mindset about staying out of debt.
  2. Look for personal responses. Our family’s handling of money can have a greater impact on our spending habits then we realize.
  3. If I owe someone something, I am accountable to them until I give it or pay it back.
  4. Let each person think through his or her circumstances. One potential consequence might be that I would owe a significant amount of money and be paying it off for a number of years. Being in debt can prevent us from doing the things we really care about. Don’t forget that school loans from the government are unforgivable; bankruptcy will not free me from paying them back. I am held accountable until I pay the bank. In addition, if my employment dreams do not materialize, I may go for many months without being able to make loan and credit card payments. Then even once I find a job, I’ll be far enough behind in payments, that it will take me even longer to pay off debt.
  5. Explore this together. While we need to make plans to provide for own needs and those of our families, we should never try to force our will or plans on God. James is warning us about assuming we know the future. God’s Word is very clear that we do not know the future. Going into debt and assuming that we can later repay is very unwise.
  6. The perspective that God wants us to have is an awareness of our human frailty (vapor) and the finite nature of our lives. He wants us to live humbly in surrender to Him. We need to give God the freedom to change our plans for our best. God is in control.
  7. James warns us about pride. Verse 16 explains the danger of not applying verses 14-15. We can become boastful and arrogant and take the credit for the blessings that come from God. This is dangerous because it distances us from God.
  8. Draw out as many forms of greed as you can think of in your group. Understand that the word for greed is the desire to have more, to covet. We may be impatient to have what others have and be drawn into debt to have those things now. We then over-consume, looking for fulfillment in things rather than in God.
  9. When we have an abundance, we have possessions that overflow and abound. Jesus said these belongings are not what true life consists of, even though there may be a lot of them. Jesus teaches in John 14:6 that He Himself is life. Life, in its essence then, is knowing Him.
  10. Looking at verses 22-23, we can see that we need to follow our employer’s leadership wholeheartedly. Attitude is critical.
  11. We receive reward from the Lord as we serve Him well; we are also repaid when we do wrong (vs. 24-25). We reap what we sow, and a good work ethic may enable us to retain our job and even be considered for a promotion. This can enable us to get and stay out of debt. It is important to continue living out a good work ethic even if you do not see it modeled around you.
  12. Discuss the answer together.
  13. Make personal applications individually and share in the group. If people feel uncomfortable sharing about this in the group, offer to meet with them individually

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