The Bible gives us good instructions about lending money to others.  There are times when others, or ourselves, need a loan to get us back on track.  Perhaps that need comes from an unexpected bill such as a hospital bill or a car repair bill.  We read in Deuteronomy 15:7-8, “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.”  The Lord wants us to be compassionate to those in need and help them according to our own means.  We should not harden our hearts or close our hands to those in need.

Now let’s read Exodus 22:25-27, “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, NEITHER SHALT THOU LAY UPON HIM USURY. If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.”  How unlike the Lord it would be for us to try to gain from someone’s misfortune.  Of course, the choice is yours to make a loan to someone.  But, “If thou lend money…neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.”  Today, usury is usually considered to be ‘exorbitantly high interest rates.’  Yet, its use in the scriptures indicates that we should not charge any interest rate at all to our brother or sister in Christ that is in need.

Leviticus 25:36 tells us, “Take thou no usury of him, or increase…”  We should not try to profit, or gain, by lending money to the saints in need.  That should be far from our thoughts.  Our intent should be to help the one who needs our help. On lending to those who are outside the Christian community, those who are not saved, the Lord has a word.  Deuteronomy 23:20 says, “Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury…”  It would be okay to charge interest if you made a loan to a stranger or business acquaintance, but to a fellow believer in need, it would not be appropriate to charge interest on a loan.

We can take this principle a step further.  If it was appropriate and affordable to us, we should rather GIVE money to those in need rather than to LEND it to them.  Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to GIVE to him that needeth.”  We also have in Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

It is characteristic of the Lord to give.  The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and GAVE HIMSELF for me.”  We read of Christ in Titus 2:14, “Who GAVE HIMSELF for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”  We should be cautious about who we give our money to, but if we pray and wait on the Lord, He will lead us in the direction we need to go to give to others without thought of return.  (216.6)