Forums Focus: A weekly blog to enlighten, encourage and equip Christian business leaders to lead in business using Biblical Business Principles.

Biblical Business Principles – Last week we focused on the Consequences of Debt. Do you have a personal policy on debt that aligns with Biblical Business Principles?

This week we will flip the debt coin to the other side and focus on lending. Are you a lender? Do you lend as a function of your business? Do you lend to your employees? To family members? Note: If you have accounts receivables you are a lender?

What are some Biblical principles on lending?

All goes well for those who are generous, who lend freely and conduct their business fairly. Psalm 112:5 NLT How does lending relate to generosity? Should lending freely be before or after God’s blessing? (Who owns it all?) What standards do you apply for conducting business fairly?

Jesus’ teaching is often counter-intuitive for business today. And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return. Luke 6:34 NLT Why would Jesus teach this?

And suppose he grants loans without interest, stays away from injustice, is honest and fair when judging others, and faithfully obeys my laws and regulations. Anyone who does these things is just and will surely live, says the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 18:8-9 NLT Is it wrong to charge interest on past due accounts? Why or why not?

The Bible does not directly address lending as a function of business, but it does address lending to certain people.

If you lend money to a fellow Hebrew in need, do not be like a money lender, charging interest. Exodus 22:25 NLT Can this principle be applied to lending to employees? Who / what defines someone “in need”?

Remember, do not charge your relatives interest on anything you lend them, whether money or food. Leviticus 25:37 NLT Should we apply this Old Testament edict to lending to family members in 2012?

A psalm of David. Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to slander others or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise persistent sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the LORD and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend, and who refuse to accept bribes to testify against the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever. Psalm 15 NLT Why is not charging interest included in this list of qualities?

Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 NLT As a lender, are you a master like our Lord Jesus who always balanced justice and mercy?

Look! The LORD is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. See how he is scattering the people over the face of the earth. Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors — none will be spared. The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The LORD has spoken! The earth dries up, the crops wither, the skies refuse to rain. The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted the instructions of God, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse consumes the earth and its people. They are left desolate, destroyed by fire. Few will be left alive. Isaiah 24:1-6 NLT Remember the big picture as you make lending decisions.

Bit of Wisdom
Then I said, “What sadness is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who has threatened to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay — yet they all curse me.” The LORD replied, “All will be well with you, Jeremiah. Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf in times of trouble and distress. Jeremiah 15:10-11 NLT

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Paul Lantz
CBMC Forums
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