What the bible says about loaning money to family

What the bible says about loaning money to family

There are some Biblical principles about lending money to friends, family, fellow-believers and business accociates.  First, a general principle about debt is "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave"(Proverbs 22:7).  In a family, people should be treated as brothers rather than masters.  Perhaps you could avoid straining a relationship with a family member by getting money from a bank instead of a family member.

Loaning Money to Unbelievers

In the Old Testament, the law prohibited the Jews from charging money to each other.  "You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest" (Deuteronomy 23:19). You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countryman you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess" (Deuteronomy 23:20).


Collecting Bad Loans

Christians should be willing to release money if the loan goes bad.  Ask your questions BEFORE loaning money.  What is the loan for?  How will it be paid back?  Is there a guarantee collateral?  Once the money is out of your hands, you no longer have control of it.  With a Christian relationship on the line, the Bible says "Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?" (1 Corinthians 6:1). We are told that it is better to be defrauded than to lose our witness by suing one another (1 Corinthians 6:7).

Christian Attitudes toward People

The Christian standard of exacting money shows our attitudes toward relationships. People are more important than possessions and relationships with others should be preserved even at the loss of personal belongings.  

Luke 6:34: "If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, in order to receive back the same amount."

Luke 6:30-31, "Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way."

A gift as an alternative to a loan

If your friend or family member is asking for a loan and has a legitimate need, that means he needs help.  A loan is a nice way of giving people short-term help in a real way.  However, if you have a healthy relationship that you don't wish to put into jeopardy, consider giving him a gift instead.  Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.