Question:

Hi,

I'm in a bit of a situation here. A certain brother borrowed some money from me (about $500). That is indeed a lot of money because I took it from my savings to help out a fellow brother in need. He had promised to return it end of January but up to now he has not.

Some suggest that I include the police to assist in retrival, but I fear how the situation might end up, especially he being a fellow brother. I know his family quite well and his father is actually an elder.

Now how can I handle such a situation? What does it mean if in the future someone were to ask for financial aid and I say I don't have money, yet I fear they won't return it. Would it not be a sin to lie? Yet aiding some people would result in me having trouble getting my money back? How can I handle this situation? I really need my money, yet I do not want to behave improperly.

Thanks for your anticipated response


Answer:

Christians are to be generous with the money that they have, but it should be with money that they don't mind losing if they don't get it back. "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).

"Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28). We labor to have some excess to share with others.

If you needed that money, then you shouldn't have loaned it to someone who already has trouble making his obligations. You need to follow the steps in Matthew 18:15-17. Talk to him about getting your money back. If you don't get anywhere, ask his father and another man or two to come with you to talk with him. Hopefully they will be able to get the problem settled.

I've talked to him several times about the issue and his response is always either 'tomorrow' or in 'two days time'. And I'm sure you know that that is how people don't normally pay back.

I observe you say that you said that since I needed the money I shouldn't have given him. The issue is: I didn't need it when I lent it to him. He had promised to give it back before I needed it. So my question would be, in the future, do I just don't lend people money in my savings because there is a risk of losing it? If someone were to ask for money would I respond, 'I have the money, but I won't lend you because you might not give it back' or should I just say,'I don't have the money'? It is really a burning question inside of me because I am struggling hard not to overspend and accumulate my savings. Because of my policies I am not usually broke but now I fear losing my money to people.

Please help me out here. Thank you once again for your anticipated response.

If you had plans for money that you've saved, then it isn't available money. The money you use to help others is money that is not slated for some purpose or money that you have purposely set aside to use to help other people.

If you don't have money available to loan, just state this fact: "I don't have any available money to loan." It doesn't mean you have no money, it means all your money has a purpose.

Start a small saving that is designated for helping other people. If there is money in that fund, you can use it to help people. If they pay you back, it goes back into the fund to help someone else.

Meanwhile, it sounds like you need to take a few brethren with you to get this issue resolved.

Thank you so much for the sound advice.