Should a Christian File Bankruptcy?
First, and most importantly, the Bible does say we should not be borrowers, Deut. 15:6 & 28:12, Romans 13:8, and that one of the consequences of borrowing is becoming a slave to our lenders. Proverbs 22:7. Today, slavery to debt reveals itself through worry, fear, and depression, and can lead to such things as substance abuse, nervous breakdowns, divorce, etc.. We are instructed, however, that we cannot have two masters, Matt. 6:24. You can't be a slave to your creditors and, at the same time, be completely surrendered and fully in service to your Lord Jesus. Your relationship with God is most certainly affected by excessive debt.
If a Christian does borrow, then he should do so from a Christian brother, who should not charge any interest. Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:36, Psalm 15:5, Proverbs 28:8. In fact, it is God's perfect will that we lend to each other without expecting anything in return. Luke 6:35. Therefore, it seems clear that the credit industry is not the design of God, but of man. If we have a need, it is God's design to meet it through prayer and trusting in Him. Matt. 6:31-34, Philippians 4:6, 19.
If we fall short of God's will (as we all do at one time or another), we need to repent and seek the Lord's forgiveness. 1 John 1:7-10. Not only is He quick to forgive, but He provides practical answers to our problems. In the area of debt, one solution provided by His Law was a form of bankruptcy, whereby a person's debts were released automatically every seven years. Deut. 15:1-4. Our founding fathers knew this release from debt was very important and so they included the right in our Constitution. This is why we have bankruptcy laws today ... to provide a release or discharge from debt.
Nonetheless, we should become better stewards of everything the Lord has blessed us with. He is good. If we do have to file bankruptcy, then we should all certainly learn from our mistakes, so that we don't repeat them. If the money to repay simply is not there, we do not need to be under condemnation. After all, it is the Lord who provides the ability to repay anyway.
We encourage our clients to repay their just debts before, during, or after bankruptcy, but only if they are able. Some of you, however, simply cannot do so, and we personally understand. So does God!