A Borrower, a Lender, or a Slave — Are you any of these?
Most of us are borrowers, and many of us are lenders (to friends or family if not in business). Many of us are slaves and don’t even know it.
Quoting Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
I am a borrower. I owe money for a car, and for a house. I never felt like a slave to the bank owner, but the Bible says I am a slave if I have borrowed money. The rich certainly do seem to rule over the poor. That makes them a master who rules over the slave. I have been a lender. I don’t like to pester or twist an arm to get my money paid back.
Ever have a bill that keeps coming every month? You have paid some of it, but there is still a balance. Every month you get another bill, possibly with interest added. Each month, you worry and fret over it, because you can’t pay off the whole bill yet. How frustrating, right? Owing money to anyone is stressful. Did you realize you made yourself a slave to them?
This situation causes worry and work for the person owed money, too. If you have a small business, do you like it when someone hasn’t paid their full bill, month after month? You might worry that maybe they didn’t like what they bought. Maybe they think it cost too much. Maybe they won’t pay it all back, ever. Will you need to go through collections? This is stressful, too.
There is a similar situation when you resent what someone has done or said. You have held a grudge, instead of forgiving them. In effect, they are on the hook to you. They owe you an apology, but they haven’t given one. They may regret it, but you still feel wronged.
Wouldn’t the best thing be to not get in these situations at all?
One way is to not lend money, nor borrow money. Pay off every bill each month in full. Most of us have at least one loan though, that we need to make payments on.
If you did loan money, and they can’t pay it, you can write it off, and tell them the loan is cancelled (sometimes called forgiven). That is less stressful than going to collections.
You can also choose not to be offended by what people say or do. This is hard to do 100% of the time. If you do get offended, you can choose to forgive the offense, or you can give them the chance to apologize by talking to them about your feelings. If you offended someone, you can apologize.
Nobody likes a debt hanging over their head. Nobody likes to get mean to get the money owed to them. Nobody wants to be a slave.
Realizing the borrower is always a slave, whether you lend money or borrow money, will definitely make me try to avoid getting loans, or giving loans. I don’t want to dread the end of each month because I don’t have enough money to pay all my bills. I don’t like being a slave. I don’t like being a master to a slave either, because I don’t want to go to court over money owed to me.
What choices did I make?
I choose not to borrow, except for a car and a house. All other bills, I pay off each month. I would love to be totally debt free, but I haven’t quite been able to do that on a car, paying it off in about 4 years is the best I have been able to do. I have always done a 30-year mortgage on a house. I see this similar to renting. I will be paying for a place to live every month one way or the other.
I choose not to be offended by what people say or do. This comes from a book I read called “Unoffendable” by Brant Hansen. He gives really good advice for Christians. (For more info on that see my post on the book.)When I can’t seem to get something out of my head no matter what, and do feel offended, I choose to forgive. Or I talk with the person, and give them a chance to apologize. Either way I forgive.
What choices have you made in your life? Are you happy with your choices? Hopefully your choices have made your life enjoyable, and not full of anxiety and stress. Are you a borrower and slave, or lender and master? Are you forgiving? Or do you hold grudges?
What is good about our forgiving God is that He will always forgive us, so we can choose to make better choices tomorrow.
Found in Proverbs 8:10-11, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies…”