There is a clear difference between the way the world deals with the subject of lending and borrowing and the way the Bible tells us we should behave when we borrow or lend money. God’s word sets a much higher standard for us believers, both on the lending as well as on the borrowing side.
Lending, earning interest on debt and borrowing have been practiced by human kind for ages, and there is no lack of instruction, helpful tips and teaching around this subject. For anyone who is not well-versed in God’s word it’s easy to fall prey to financial practices that are neither honoring to the Lord nor to others. Lets’ take a closer look at this subject, so we can act in confidence when borrowing or lending money.
Is debt a sin? What’s our responsibility as a borrower?
Pay back every penny!
The Bible is clear that when we do decide to take on debt, we are to pay back what we borrowed! In Psalm 37 we read: “The wicked borrows but does not pay back…” Or how about Ecclesiastes? “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” Because God’s word gives strict direction to the lenders to extend grace to those who can’t repay debt, we often treat it as a way out of fulfilling our obligation as a borrower, which is to pay back the debt we took on. The lender’s obligations do not release us from our responsibility as a borrower!
Don’t finance your wants with debt!
When we lend, our motives should be pure. When those who borrow from us cannot repay, we should release them from the burden of debt and not hold a grudge. Yes that’s very hard to do, but God’s ways are much different than the world’s ways.
Exodus 22:25 says: “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.”
There are many references to lending without charging interest, especially when we lend to our brothers and sisters in Christ, but what about lending to those who are not part of the body of Christ? Here is what we find in Luke 6:35: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
As we lend or borrow money, let’s be careful not to do either based upon the commonly accepted practices of today. You see, greed hides behind both foolish borrowing as well as behind predatory lending. We borrow out of greed for more, bigger, better…and we lend to get more, faster and at a higher interest.
Consulting God’s word and honoring God though the process of both borrowing and lending is what we should do. After all, those who honor Him, He will honor!