The Merciful Lender


Something caught my eye as I glanced over the daily email containing ancient Hebrew wisdom in my inbox last week.

“[the good man]  is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.” -Psalm 37:25-26

To me and my anti-debt philosophies, this was a shocker. I take these scriptures as gospel, so this was a clash between two viewpoints on debt and lending.

Having been a big bank employee for a few years, I’ve dealt with lending products every day. The term “responsible lending” is bandied about a bit. 2009’s global financial crisis was largely catalyzed by organizations in the US lending not out of mercy, but out of self-interest. More accurately– greed. This came back to bite them, and everyone else too.

Lending has been going on for thousands of years because it is big business. I’m not sure that this scripture has to do with businesses or organizations that lend, but it may be more to do with lending between friends. Come to think of it, I’m not a fan of that either; I gravitate to Dave Ramsey’s point of view on it. I.e, the borrower is slave to the lender = Bad for relationships.

Bottom line, I’m still not sure what to do with this little nugget of wisdom. At the end of the day, I suppose lending money to people who need it can be an expression of a generous, merciful character. And, according to this scripture, it can actually cause your family to be blessed. Argh! It’s so easy for people to get into trouble with lending; I know I have. Hmm…

Care to add your thoughts?

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2 responses to “The Merciful Lender

  1. Great thoughts, great questions!! Maybe God doesn’t want His people in debt. Just like it says in Deut 15:1 -11:

    http://blog.beatingdebt.org/2009/08/31/deut-151-11-is-still-meaningful-today/

    He didn’t mind if His people loaned to other nations, but He didn’t want His people to take on loans. Couple that thought with debt being slavery from Proverbs 22:7; then we might understand that God doesn’t want His people be enslaved to anything, but to be totally dependent on Him.

    Very interesting. Keep up the good work,
    Eric

  2. I think if you are prosperous enough to lend and we all should aspire to that, it is good to think of it as giving to the Lord, in the back of your mind, so if you never get paid back, you can forgive your debtor and be blessed anyway.

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