My grandfather was a pastor who tried to live according to the Bible. During Japan’s rule over Korea, he was thrown into jail for refusing to vow to the Japanese shrine. During the Korean War, he was kidnapped and martyred by the communists.
One of my grandfather’s teachings was for the fellow church members to avoid monetary dealings.
In fact, the Bible does not state that one should not lend money. God said to the Hebrew people, “You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain.(Lev 25:37)”; “You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countryman you shall not charge interest. (Deut 23:20)”
My grandfather said “It is acceptable to give away money but not to lend money.” I think I understand it better now that I am a pastor.
Money can break a relationship among church members. When one cannot repay the loan, the relationship usually becomes very awkward. Sometimes the one who owes the money moves to another church, leaving a bitter taste to many surrounding fellow church members.
Love is filling another persons need. We cannot simply ignore the physical needs of a member. But we also cannot allow money to break our relationships. Following guideline may help to minimize possibilities of such mishaps.
When lending to someone, think as if you will never receive it back. In order to do that, limit the amount so that even if it is not returned, it will not harm your own livelihood. There are very few Koreans who live in the USA , who have the surplus to freely loan money to others. Usually the one who lends must make a sacrifice. But that sacrifice must not threaten one’s own livelihood.
One who borrows must make debt repayment the number one priority. It is not acceptable for the borrower to purchase a house or a new car before fully repaying the debt. It is a selfish abuse of other’s love. The debt must be cleared before satisfying one’s personal needs. If it cannot be repaid quickly, long term monthly payment of $50 or $100 must be made to show the utmost effort. One may think it is better to save and pay a lump sum payment rather than making monthly minimum payments, but it is more important to show the determination to repay.
Let us be careful! Let us not allow the money, which flowed out of one’s loving sacrifice, break our relationships.
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