I hear that even now there are persons in our church asking to borrow money from other members. I know that this is a church principle that everyone should know, but I want to repeat once more. I request that we should stop borrowing or loaning money between House Church family members or among church members. This is because when there is a problem paying back the loan in time, the relationship between members will be broken. Even if you had a great relationship before, but if one side was to borrow money and do not pay back in time, there will be problems that will arise between members including; being disappointed on the lending party, avoiding each other, and one party even leaving church.
But if someone is in desperate situation and asks for help as an emergency, it may be difficult to refuse and the refusal could even result in continuing resentment toward that person. So, the principle to follow in this case is to help someone if one truly feels that the person needs help. But you should have a mindset where you only lend amount of money you feel comfortable being without, and do not have any expectation of being paid back. And if you end up not being paid, consider it a good deed on your part and do not get disappointed.
On the other hand, there may truly be someone that really needs help desperately, but there are someone who has an habit of borrowing from others even though he may not have an intention of paying back or know he cannot pay back. If someone has to borrow money continually like this, he hasa fundamental problem with his lifestyle. He should consider moving to a cheaper housing, decrease regular expenses such as TV service, smart phone service, etc, and consider getting a second job to increase his income. It is not a solution for him to continue to borrow money. Our church has some ways to help those that face true emergencies on short term basis.
For these persons that habitually borrow money, people around them are already aware of this situation. If someone asks to borrow money, I strongly urge you to consult with his/her Shepherd or Ranch leaders. You should first determine whether this person has a true need or has a habit of borrowing money before deciding to help him or her.
I especially ask for the members to refrain from asking to borrow money from their Shepherds or for any financial guarantees. Your Shepherd may have the feeling that he needs to fulfill the needs of his House Church members and may feel obligated to help. When this happens, then his ministry of caring for his members may get impacted. Please do not burden your Shepherds with this obligation.
If you have borrowed money from someone else, you should put priority on paying this back. Until you pay back the loan, you should minimize your living expenses. If you buy a brand new car, or go on expensive vacations instead of paying back the money you owe, you are using someone else’s generosity in an evil way. As I discussed in my sermon a few weeks ago, if you cannot pay all at once, you should divide the amount over a year, write monthly checks for that amount, give them to the lender and ask him to deposit the checks once a month. This shows that you are doing your best to repay the loan.
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