Friday, April 15, 2011

Being A Borrower

Psalm 37:21 - The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.

Borrowing can be a real blessing. It can also be a curse. We have been blessed to have some kind and generous friends and neighbors. One of our neighbors has a garage full of tools and has given my husband permission to go over any time he has a need and borrow tools without even asking. Some friends of ours have allowed us to borrow their power washer to clean the siding on our house. Other friends have offered their carpet cleaning machine (and I hope to take them up one that one soon!). If we had to invest money ourselves, buying or renting all of these tools, it would cost us a LOT of money. I am so grateful for generous friends.

Still, I do not ever want to take their generosity for granted! When I borrow, I try to be sure to do the following:
  • Return borrowed items in a timely manner. The importance of this one cannot be emphasized enough. A project requiring a borrowed item immediately becomes top priority! If I do not intend to use the borrowed item and be done with it within a month, I do not borrow it.
  • Return items in a condition even BETTER than I received them. Tools are cleaned thoroughly and vehicles filled with gas and sometimes vacuumed out or taken through a car wash.
  • Include a sweet "thank you" - a note + some kind of home baked treat
When I do these things, I find people are happy to lend to me because they know they can trust me to take care of their things and return them.

Exodus 22:14 - If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution.

If something should happen to an item I am borrowing, I would feel obligated to make full restitution either making repairs or paying for a replacement if need be. This is the risk a person takes when borrowing, and helps me take extra care with another person's property.

Now, as far as lending goes... If I lend something, I do not expect to get it back again.

Proverbs 22:7 - The rich rules over the poor,and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Sadly, not everyone will be as scrupulous about being a good borrower as you would like, therefore, if I lend something out, I do it with more of the mindset that I am giving it away. If it is too precious of an item for me to give it away, I do not lend it out. I find that I am most often lending out books. For books that I frequently lend, I actually purchase extra copies so I can have "lending copies" and still have one for me to keep. I find that when I keep this kind of an attitude, I do not get angry and hold a grudge when the item I lend is not returned for over a year... or ever. I don't want something like a lost borrowed item to come in the way of a relationship with someone.

So when it comes to borrowing, I try to be the kind of borrower that is faithful to return items in a timely and thankful way. And when I am lending, I try to do it generously and have a giving and forgiving spirit. It all seems to come out in the end, so I try not to keep score. Borrowing and lending can be a real blessing as long as we keep this in mind:

Matthew 7:12 - So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

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