On Sundays I write on what the Bible has to say about money. This week’s Bible and money focus is on Psalm 37:21:
“The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” – Psalm 37:21 (ESV)
This Scripture describes two kinds of people: the wicked, who end up in debt and poverty, and the righteous, who enjoy plenty and live generous lives.
I think it is because they lived an extravagant lifestyle that was beyond their means, and they had to borrow so much money to pay for that lifestyle that they could not repay it.
How did the righteous become so generous and giving?
I think it is because they consistently lived below their means and created a healthy surplus that grew and allowed them to generously give to help meet the needs of others.
What an interesting juxtaposition. On the one hand, people who lived above their means and had to borrow from others, and on the other hand, people who lived below their means and were able to give to bless others.
What the Bible Says About Money in Psalm 37:21
Here are some of my takeaways from Psalm 37:21:
- Debt puts limits on what we can do with our finances.
- Many who are in debt feel they cannot give at all, or they limit their giving. Sadly, they lose out on experiencing the grace of giving.
- When we are debt free God can use us more to build his kingdom. We are free to be more generous and give more to others.
- Those who are righteous are generous. They don’t loan but they give.
- The righteous will have enough for themselves and others. The wicked end up with nothing.
My wife and I have seen Psalm 37:21 lived out in our lives and the lives of others. We’ve struggled at times with the desire to give more, but not being able to do it because of our debt commitments.
And I’ve known people who felt called to overseas missions but couldn’t do it at the time because of their student debt load. And sadly, I know many pastors who struggle financially because of their student loan burden.
What’s your take on Psalm 37:21? And how have you seen it being played out?
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