In Matthew, chapter 5, we have what is known as the Sermon on the Mount.  In Luke 6, we have what is known as the Sermon on the Plain (Read Luke 6:17).  There are many similarities on these two sermons of the Lord as He sought to teach the people.

Let us look at your question by reading Luke 6:34-35, “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”  

The Lord had been warning His disciples of the attitude of helping only those who could possibly return the favor if needed.  He said in verses 32-33, “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.”  This is an easy trap to fall into as we often help those who are nice to us while avoiding those who treat us badly. 

Let us look at the Lord’s instructions to us about being in debt, borrowing money, and paying back our loans.

Romans 13:8, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”  This is pretty clear, isn’t it?  The Lord does not want us to go into debt.  In today’s society, we go into debt at the drop of a hat.  We go into debt to buy our houses, our cars, our vacations, etc.  It is such a big part of our society, that we hardly give it a thought. 

Perhaps there are times when we must go into debt.  Proverbs 22:26-27 says, “Do not be among those who shake hands, among those who become guarantors for debts.  If you have nothing with which to repay, why should he take your bed from under you?”  This shows us that we should not go into debt unless we can pay back the loan.  It is too easy to just shake hands or sign a loan agreement without giving much thought as to how we can pay back the loan.  If we cannot repay the loan, then we may have our possessions repossessed and are worse off than before we borrowed the money. 

Psalm 37:21 warns us against borrowing money with the intention of not paying it back.  That says, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.” 

However, we are encouraged to act graciously to those who truly need money.  Matthew 5:42 instructs us, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”  Here, we must be careful to understand the situations that some people get themselves into.  Sometimes we are afraid that if a stranger asks us for money, he may be using it to buy drugs or alcohol.  At this point, we need to seek the Lord’s council before we give or loan money to someone. 

As compassionate believers, we need to be very sensitive to the needs of others.  Leviticus 25:35-37 tells us, “And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no USURY of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon USURY, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.”  We should not turn away those who are truly in need.  The word usury means interest on a loan.  We are being taught that we should not try to make a profit off someone else’s needs.  Perhaps we might lose money when we remove our money from the bank and stop earning interest on it.  Is not the well-being of those in need worth the loss of a few dollars we might have received from the bank.  Our desire should be to minister to those in need, even if there is a cost for us.  Proverbs 28:27 tells us that, “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”  The Lord blesses those who bless others.  When we loan money just to make a profit…we are not blessing those people at all and the Lord is not pleased. 

We read in Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”  What a precious thought!  When we have pity upon the poor and seek to minister to their needs, it is like lending your money to the Lord…and the Lord will absolutely repay that debt!  (465.2)