Submitted by Jen Jones on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 9:31pm
People often have a hard time coming to grips with the decision to file for bankruptcy. Many feel that is morally wrong to do so; that we have an obligation to pay the debts off that we incur during our lifetimes. We are taught that there are consequences to our actions; that if we do ‘A’ that we will have to deal with ‘B.’ For some, bankruptcy flies right in the face of a concept that we all grew up with- taking responsibility for our actions.
There are actually two verses that refer to the concept of debt forgiveness, and much in the way that they are dealt with now. In Nehemiah 10:31b the bible state:
"Every seven years we will let our fields rest, and we will cancel all debts."
Then also in Deuteronomy 15:1-2:
"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord's release."
People often feel an intense shame in admitting that they can no longer meet their bills, their responsibilities. Many folks will even do away with some basic necessities like adequate food and clothing in order to try and meet those obligations. Marriages have fallen apart over the stress that comes with serious financial trouble. People have even been known to take their own lives because of the intense shame and despair their financial woes bring.
Since the Bible is the moral compass for most people than they should consider what it says in reference to debts. Yes, the Bible does expect us to take responsibility for our actions and pay our debts. However, as the two previous passages have shown, the Bible says that it is okay not to repay your debts if circumstances make it impossible for you to do so and you must file for bankruptcy. The Bible also shows that there is no need to be ashamed of filing for bankruptcy either, as long as you really cannot pay them.
That is why we have the court system and law that we have; to make sure that you are not just trying to ditch your bills and that you really cannot pay your bills. Basically, the legal system has taken care of the mechanics of bankruptcy and the Bible the morality of it. So if you feel that you might need to file for bankruptcy than feel no shame and do what you need to take care of you and your family.
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