“Don't withhold repayment of your debts. Don't say "some other time," if you can pay now.” Proverbs 3:27

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Although borrowing is not considered a positive principle of God’s Kingdom by many, it does have value and should be accepted because of its overall effect on us personally. A good thing about borrowing is that it is a sign of humility, because borrowing - whether it is money, products or help - lets us know that we are not sufficient in ourselves. Borrowing also puts us in a responsible position; we owe them something. This helps us respect each other and our need for establishing good relationships. After all, life designed by God was not self-sufficiency, but was to learn to work and depend on each other - whether it is family, friends, community or work teams.

This proverb deals primarily with debt from loans, but borrowing is a much broader principle that can be applied anywhere, because it comes to us in the form of needs. It takes humility to ask for help, personal support or loans. There are three things we can do to establish a good rating in credit from our fellow man. They are -

1. Start with small favors or small loans. These loans or favors should be for practical and real common sense needs. Don’t push a lender or friend into doubting your intentions or your ability to return the favor or pay your dues. Make your request clear, and explain how you expect to fill your obligations or make payments, whether it is money, products or favors.

2. Be prompt with your payment and follow through on your commitment.
Promptness is an important principle, not only for payment or favor, but as a character trait. It shows responsibility and will give you a good rating. The payment is always expected, but what builds respect and trust is promptness. It shows that we are concerned about our reputation for future dealings with loans or favors. The Scripture says, "Don’t withhold payment." If you can pay, then pay. Our policy should be to pay off our debts as soon as possible. Ask those who have helped you, "Is there anything I can do?", before they ask you. This shows promptness and willingness about your indebtedness. When you get some extra cash or time, pay your indebtedness to the people who have helped you. Don’t go on a wild spending spree. There are those who teach financial independence and self sufficiency. This leads to pride and selfishness. You can not be happy by being independent. We were designed to be relational. We will always be indebted to God, our friends, and to those who care for us. So don’t withhold the favor.

3. Communicate well if you have a problem with your obligations.

There are times when all of us have a hard time filling our obligations promptly. Unusual situations may set us back financially or emotionally and cause us to be late. Most bankers or friends are not overly concerned about a few late payments or favors if we communicate properly. They will respect us for coming in and explaining our situation. This builds trust and long-lasting friendships. So be responsible. Remember that we get from others what we put into them. The bottom line is - it is hard to borrow from our friends if we have not built equity in them.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
The more successful we become, the more we recognize that we could not have done it ourselves.