Christ said, in Matthew 5:42, “Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away.” Christians live the give way of life. They “love their neighbor as themselves” (Luke 10:27). Therefore, if they are presented with the opportunity to financially assist a relative, friend, or brother in Christ, they should do so if they are able, and if the need is truly genuine. But they must not take advantage of another’s financial situation by requiring that interest be paid (Ex. 22:25).
There are situations in which it would be unwise to offer someone financial assistance, even if one is in a position to comfortably do so. Such a situation might involve someone who is habitually irresponsible with money, or someone whose very lifestyle is defined by constantly imposing on others. To always help such a person invariably does more harm than good in the long run, to both the giver and the receiver.
If lending to a stranger, it is permissible to require usury (Deut. 23:20). One example of this would be the interest accrued on savings accounts, since the bank is actually taking your money and lending it sight unseen.
Another situation in which it is acceptable to receive interest would be a business loan, in which the borrower seeks to profit from the deal. Since the lender and the borrower would both profit from the loan, charging usury of this type is not wrong.
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