Without bothering with a big introduction, let me simply get to the point. I don’t loan money to anyone. Don’t come asking me to borrow money, or to “spot you some cash” or to “help you out until pay day.” I will say no. That may sound harsh and heartless of me, but let me explain: I take very seriously the concept taught in Proverbs 22:7, which says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” I don’t want any slaves. This also gets at the heart of why our family lives debt free.
It is important to define here what it means to “help” someone. To truly help you with money, I need to provide assistance that promotes a lasting and real improvement in your life. If lending you money helped your life as much as the credit card and quick cash places said it would, we wouldn’t have the epidemic of bankruptcies, foreclosures and repossessions in our country. If throwing money at every problem solved them, the government would have fixed everything decades ago. Think about that for a moment…
Don’t get me wrong, money can “fix” many situations and you definitely can’t last long in this world without money, but true help rarely comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. It comes in the denominations of hope, love, generosity, empathy, training and encouragement (to name a few). Sometimes you have to love someone enough to tell them no. Sometimes you have to love someone enough to give sacrificially – of your time, talents, money, emotions, or a host of other things that may help.
I wrote about the concept of generosity on my wife’s website, and received numerous comments and emails of how lending someone else money had ruined their relationship. I did not receive a single note about how being generous caused even a hint of damage to a relationship. Next time someone asks to borrow money from you (or you’re tempted to borrow), I hope you’ll consider this post and decide if money is the help…or if something else is an even better solution. And before you decide, read (or re-read) our family’s life verse, Romans 13:8.