A few of us must have heard this saying “Na borrow borrow make am rich“. Ever since we were little, our parents have frowned against borrowing, be it a pencil or a book, they have always taught us that contentment is key and to make do with what we are given or what we have.
Borrowing, in its entirety, is not bad, depending on the reason why it’s being done. Some of the known reasons for borrowing are poor budgeting, lousy spending, spending money they don’t have to buy what they don’t necessarily need to impress people they don’t like. This last class of borrowers have deep-rooted self-esteem issues, they always feel incomplete and the need to show off to people, especially on social media, who really don’t care.
We have seen cases of people being called out or trolled by supposed friends for borrowing shoes, wigs and even clothes. These cases are not limited to just women, even men borrow. They borrow cars, clothes and even houses to impress the girls they want to get. The Bible has something to say about this “when you are in debt to another, you enter into a slave/master relationship with your creditor” (Proverbs 22:7). The borrower becomes a slave to the lender. God’s intended plan for us is not to borrow. Rather, he wants us to lend to others. He said He will open up His “good storehouse”. But this can be a bit difficult when you have nothing to lend, isn’t it?
Not to worry. There are things you can lend that are greater than money and clothes or shoes, and that is “knowledge”. You can share what you know about a particular skill, business or topic with people. You can also lend someone your ears (by listening), your time by spending it with people, friends or family who are in dire need of it. To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be rich or beautiful, you just have to genuinely care. These are valuable social currencies that are currently at an all-time low.
Nobody likes a friend that is always borrowing (these set of people only know how to take, they never give back). It can be really draining having them around. I bet we have encountered one of such friends who borrows because that’s the only way they know how to live. They borrow shoes, clothes, food items and even things not worth borrowing just so they can live up to other people’s ‘standards’. This set of people have no real friends because they have borrowed one thing or the other from virtually everyone they know. Nobody likes a perpetual borrower, especially people who borrow and don’t pay up or return the borrowed items.
There are rules regarding borrowing and lending which must be adhered to, most especially when it comes to lending money to family members and friends. Let’s take a look at some of the rules.
- Avoid lending to habitual borrowers, it is risky. Sometimes they really don’t need the money, they just love borrowing.
- If the repayment plan is long-term, you should insist on a loan agreement. Don’t let family or friends guilt you into parting with hard earned money for lousy reasons.
- We know it’s difficult to say ‘no’ to friends and family, but don’t be there to fund their lifestyle. If a friend needs a new car and says they need just a certain amount to complete payment. You are advised not to. If they can’t afford to pay the whole sum, they should wait but in cases where the borrowing is for business and they need capital, it’s best to get equity in the business as a means of payback if the said time for a refund is not certain.
- Always remember to lend only what you are willing to write off, to avoid bad blood.
For the borrowee, there are also rules when it comes to borrowing. A lot of us have the habit of forgetting immediately we borrow. Even the Bible states that “we should pay all that we owe”. Don’t wait until the lender comes knocking, it’s advisable to payback even before the due date. That way the person would want to help you another time. A lot of people say they learned not to give anymore, due to bad debtors: the ones that even hide and start avoiding you.
Don’t ruin a good thing for other people due to your bad habits. If you find yourself always borrowing even when you don’t need it, seek professional counselling. There’s no shame in it. Knowing you don’t owe anyone or have anyone chasing you for something you bought on credit and haven’t paid for is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s freedom!