Financial Problems


Q: Are financial problems a sign of sin?

A: A paraphrase of James 1:2 would be, “If you really want to have your faith perfected, you need a problem to test it.” Therefore, we know with certainty that problems are not the evidence of sin. Obviously problems can be an indicator of sin, but there will also be many other indicators.[1]


Q: What should I do when I can't pay my bills?

A: Whatever you do, don't hide your head in the sand or sweep your bills under the bed. Even if you have no income, it almost always makes sense to contact your creditors and let them know your situation. Some creditors may be quite willing to work with you. For example, they might agree to a payment plan, allow you to skip a few payments and tack them onto the end of a loan term, or waive late fees.[2]


Q: How do I know if I truly have a spending problem?

A: Compulsive overspending can actually lead to an addiction. Some of the signs of this would be feelings of euphoria while spending money, feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment after shopping, consistently spending over your budget, attempting to hide the problem (hiding purchases, destroying credit card bills, etc.) and shopping to alleviate negative emotions, such as anger, sadness or depression.[3]


Q: What's my first step toward getting out of extreme debt?

A: Start with your credit card debt. “You attack the smallest debt first, still maintaining minimum payments on everything else. Do what is necessary to focus your attention. Keep stepping up to the next larger bill. After the credit debt is taken care of, you are ready for the next Baby Step in your Total Money Makeover.”[4]


Q: Aren't I being responsible by paying my credit card's minimum balance on time each month?

A: No. Never pay the minimum! Paying off the monthly balance is beneficial to both you and your creditor. It builds history which is good for your score, shows you're responsible, and you never earn interest.[5]


Q: Can I just file bankruptcy and start all over? 

A: The Bible doesn’t specifically mention bankruptcy, but it does tell us that we should pay back what we owe. Do everything in your power to take care of your debts yourself. If that still isn’t enough, then use a reputable debt management company. Bankruptcy should be an absolute last resort. [6]


Q: What are some first steps I can take to manage my money better?

A: According to, these steps are proven to help:

  • Rule One: Give every dollar a job. 
  • Rule Two: Save for a rainy day. 
  • Rule Three: Roll with the punches. 
  • Rule Four: Live on last month's income.[7]


Q: What affect will my financial problems have on my marriage if I don't tend to them?

A: It's not your financial problems themselves that can hurt your marriage, but how you communicate about them. Arguments about money are, by far, the top predictor of divorce. The stress that accompanies financial problems may overwhelm the couples. Arguments about money may also stem from couples' deeply held beliefs about the purpose of money. It may be that fights about money are actually fights about deeper issues in the relationship--power, trust, etc. If these deep issues in the relationship are problematic, then these couples may be more likely to divorce.[8]


[1]. Larry Burkett, Answers to Your Family's Financial Questions, (Pomona, CA: Focus on the Family Publishing, 1987), p6.

[2]. Kathleen Nichon J.D., “When You Can't Pay Your Bills: Ten Things to Know,” Nolo Law for All,​, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[3]., “Choosing a Top Shopping Addiction Recovery Center,”, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[4]. Dave Ramsey, “Get Out of Debt with the Debt Snowball Plan,” Dave Ramsey, August 1, 2009,​, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[5]. Mandi Woodruff, “A Financial Advisor Answers 13 Burning Personal Finance Questions,” Business Insider, March 4, 2013,, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[6]. Bob, Lotich, “Bankruptcy & The Bible,” Christian Personal Finance, July 23, 2008., (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[7]. You Need a Budget, “The YNAB Methodology in Depth,”​, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[8]. Huffington Post, “Divorce Study: Financial Arguments Early In Relationship May Predict Divorce,” Huffington Post, July 12, 2013,​, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase.


Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.


1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Luke 14:28 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.


Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.


Leviticus 19:11 You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.


Proverbs 11:24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.


Proverbs 30:7-9 Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.


2 Corinthians 9:7-8 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work.