A friend e-mailed me this question:
“If someone asks you to join his/her business in lending money for a profit, would you join? Can you give me answers from a Christian’s point of view?”
Personally, with all the stress associated with this kind of ‘business’ I will not do it but since the question is asking me to give answers from a Christian’s perspective, I thought it would be best to get the answers directly from the bible.
So what does the bible say about lending money?
Deuteronomy 23:19-20 – “Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a fellow Israelite, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.”
Now you may argue that this verse is from the Old Testament. Let’s see what the bible say in the New Testament.
Luke 6:30, 35 – “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. . . .
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
To summarize then, I don’t think lending money per se is ‘prohibited’. What’s a no-no is the charging of interest to a brother or fellow Israelite. The Old Testament verse is clear that you may charge interest to a foreigner. The next question now would be – how much interest is reasonable and acceptable?
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