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To borrow is to have access to and use what belongs to another. Most commonly this term is used of money.

Many people and nations live beyond their means, being in debt financially, even to the point that it is seriously crippling their future to just pay the accruing interest let alone the principle. Restraint and wisdom should be exercised before getting into debt, as the Bible’s message is so true, “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov 22:7). Until the loan is repaid or the goods returned the borrower is under obligation and at the mercy of the person from whom it was borrowed (Mt 18:23-25).

Prior to taking on a loan, ask yourself some searching questions:

* do I really need the goods I am borrowing for?

* do I need it before I can pay for it?

* can I service the loan? (remembering that, because of interest and service charges, the total repayment will be considerably more than the cash purchase price)

* are the goods value for money?

Jesus said, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Mt 5:42). For this reason some groups of Christians set up non-commercial borrowing facilities to assist those who struggle financially.

When equipment is borrowed, the responsibility to put right any damage lies with the one doing the borrowing. Respect the property owner by promptly returning what you’ve borrowed.

Paul used this concept figuratively to tell his readers, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the

continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow-man has fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8).

Treat whatever you borrow better than if it was yours

See also: budgeting, contentment, debts, money, obligation.