Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

"The Wicked Borrows And Does Not Repay"

Bryan Matthew Dockens

"The wicked borrows and does not repay..." (Psalm 37:21).

Those contemplating bankruptcy or defaulting on a loan - be it a mortgage, auto loan, or otherwise - in answer to their financial burdens, would do well to heed the inspired words of David. Failure to repay a loan is wickedness.

There's a word for reneging on an agreement; it's called lying. The word of God teaches that "all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). Those who refuse to repay their loans are not letting their "'Yes' be 'Yes'" or their "'No' 'No'" (James 5:12). Instead, their "Yes" is their "No". They can't be trusted.

And, there's a word for taking money without returning it: theft. By God's word, thieves "will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The eighth of the Ten Commandments, "You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15), remains just as true under the Law of Christ as it was under the Law of Moses (Matthew 19:18).

The righteous alternative to theft is labor. The apostle Paul penned, "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good..." (Ephesians 4:28). What is a person to do who is already working, but still can't repay his loans? Whether extra hours on the job he already has, or another job altogether, the answer is more work.

It would also be wise to reduce or eliminate extraneous expenses. Learning to operate within a budget is a godly principle. Jesus asked, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it - lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'" (Luke 14:28-30). Much of a modern household's expenditures far exceed necessity. For example, some people don't understand that it's possible to live without cable or satellite TV. Yet, somehow, humanity survived without it for thousands and thousands of years. Others don't realize they can manage without a home phone if they've got a cell phone, or vice versa. Some households, where schedules permit, can even get by with just one vehicle. All this is implied by the statement "And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content" (1 Timothy 6:8). If it amounts to more than life's necessities, quit buying it until you've dug out of your financial pit!

By the way, acknowledging the necessity of food and clothing is no license to spend extravagantly on either of those specific needs. Jesus remarked that "those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses" (Matthew 11:8). Most people already own clothes, so those in financial crisis probably shouldn't buy new ones unless they outgrow those they have, or wear them out. Even then, those struggling against monetary meltdown have no business shopping at Banana Republic or the Gap. Wal-Mart will do. There's no shame in shopping at Goodwill either. For that matter, sewing is a worthwhile skill to pick up. King Lemuel asked, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain... She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands... She stretches out her hand to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle" (Proverbs 31:10-11, 13, 19).

Paul said that he had "learned in whatever state I am to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Philippians 4:12). It's well past time for many today to learn how to be abased.

Fill The Earth

Bryan Matthew Dockens

"God stopped at two and so should you" is the motto of some who favor "Population Control".

Instead of learning to "be anxious for nothing" as God commands (Philippians 4:6), it seems some are determined to worry about everything, including the supposedly devastating consumption of natural resources by an ever increasing global population. Yet Jesus taught, "...Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ...Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' ...For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:25-26, 31-33). The apostle Paul confirmed that God "did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). As proof of His existence and beneficence, the Creator continues to provide for the created, and He does so in abundance. Farmers across this nation routinely produce far more crops than can be sold in a marketplace that sustains over three hundred million.

The notion that God stopped at two is false to its very core. The truth is that God started with two. "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth ...'" (Genesis 1:27- 28). This statement was repeated by God in the days of Noah (Genesis 9:1, 7), and in the days of Israel, as well (Genesis 35:11). God wants the earth filled. Instead of limiting childbearing, as is the policy in China, innumerable children should be welcomed into the world by grateful parents (Psalm 127:3-5).

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