Is It Bad to Refuse to Lend Someone Money?
The love of money has been known to be one of the most treacherous sins leading many people astray both in biblical times and even today. That's why the Word of God speaks to us hundreds of times on money, the area of lending money included.
I'll be completely honest in saying that I'm not too comfortable lending money, and I'm sure many of us aren't. But sometimes we feel gripped by a tug that tells us that we're refusing to be "generous" and helpful to others.
Is it really bad for Christians to refuse to lend someone money? Here are two truths that will shed light on the matter of lending money.
1. God Gives You Stewardship of His Money
The paradox behind money is that it's ours but it isn't. While God owns our money and gives it to us by His grace, He leaves to us full discretion on how to steward and handle it. That basically tells us that we have agency. God gives us principles on how to handle finances, yes, but there's no single way to use and manage money.
So if it's your conviction to not use your money for loans and as long as you know that's how you honour God, you can go that route. The same goes true if you're the person who lends money professionally. As Proverbs 28:8 says, "Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor."
2. Give, Don't Lend
Jesus says this in Luke 6:34-35: "And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 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."
If you find it in your heart to be the person who lends, the wisest thing to do for your peace and for the other person's integrity is to lend without expecting for it to be returned. At least that way you protect your heart from the love of money. Just as Proverbs 19:17 says, "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed."
But that also means that you are to only lend money that you are willing to lose. It's not wise to lend an amount that would exchange another person's financial woes with yours. Godly wisdom would dictate to also love yourself as you love your neighbour.
There's nothing morally wrong with lending money, but the manner by which we do it and the heart we have in doing so is what matters most to God. At the end of the day, the inward character is what God looks at, and to be a lender whose intent is to serve and help others will honour God.