The Bible has a lot to say about money and lending money. In fact, there are over 2,000 verses on the subject. The Bible has a lot to say about money because it is an important part of our lives. Money is a tool that can be used for good or evil. It can be used to help others, or it can be used to harm others. The Bible says that we should use our money to help others.
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Isn’t the Bible clear that the borrower is a slave to the lender?
Many people will negatively respond to the question, “Should Christians lend money?”. There are many verses in Scripture warning us about the dangers of borrowing.
The rich rules over the poor,Proverbs 22:7
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.Matthew 6:24
Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,Proverbs 22:26-27
One of those who is surety for debts;
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you?
Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.Ecclesiastes 5:5
These verses are just the beginning. We’re constantly warned about the dangers associated with debt. The truth is that the Bible does not say that debt should be considered a sin or that you should not lend money. Some verses speak positively about borrowing money and earning interest.
Lending money can be a blessing.
Numerous references in the Bible to people lending or giving money are made. It is also shown that it can be a blessing in many instances.
So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.Matthew 25:27
but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.Deuteronomy 15:8
He is ever merciful, and lends;Psalm 37:26
And his descendants are blessed.
A good man deals graciously and lends;Psalm 112:5
He will guide his affairs with discretion.
And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.Luke 6:34
The Bible speaks of lending money in a positive way, but it also warns against loaning money at interest to the poor and those who cannot repay. Although it speaks of lending without restriction, it cautions against greed and urges us to do right.
We must also consider how times have changed and how borrowers today have more protection under the law. In ancient times, being in debt and failing to repay could result in you becoming a slave or having your freedom taken away completely. This was not a pleasant picture. Modern times offer borrowers many more legal protections. This means they won’t become a literal slave and can eat or be taken advantage of without legal recourse.
Lending with the Wrong Heart
The problem Christians have with borrowing money and earning interest is that we don’t lend to people with the right heart. We’re not lending money to improve someone’s situation or help them, but greedy and taking advantage. We are not acting out compassion or blessing others, but only thinking about the money.
Numerous verses speak of not taking advantage of the less fortunate or poor in lending.
If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.Leviticus 25.35-37
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?Mark 8:36
“If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.Exodus 22:5
I believe that all of us need to be cautious about the temptations of money and examine our hearts to ensure that we aren’t lending money for the wrong reasons and that our hearts aren’t set on the potential interest.
Lending With The Right Heart
It’s important to evaluate whether you are being a blessing or doing something that doesn’t help the end when lending money. You can ask yourself these questions to ensure you are acting positively.
- Is the loan affordable? Is the interest rate too high or comparable to other rates?
- What are the terms of your loan? Are they reasonable and give both the borrower and lender rights?
- Is the need worth the loan? Are you borrowing money for an item or a need that is worthwhile?
- Is the amount borrowed too high?
- Are they able to or likely repay the loan? This will improve their situation.
It’s important to have a relationship with Jesus Christ daily by reading His word and praying about your decisions. You’ll be more inclined to act in ways you shouldn’t if you aren’t grounded in your faith.
That said, I believe Christians can lend money, make interest, and be a blessing to others by lending.
Conclusion – What Does The Bible Say About Lending Money?
In conclusion, the Bible has a lot to say about lending money and being a good steward of our finances. We are called to be generous and to help those in need, but we are also called to be wise with our money. We should always lend to help someone, not just a return on our investment.