“I proceeded to buy from Hanamel the son of my paternal uncle the field that was in Anathoth,” said Jeremiah. “And I began to weigh out to him the money, seven shekels and ten silver pieces. Then I wrote in a deed and affixed the seal and took witnesses as I went weighing the money in the scales. After that I took the deed of purchase, the one sealed according to the commandment and the regulations, and the one left open; and I then gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah the son of Mahseiah before the eyes of Hanamel the son of my paternal uncle and before the eyes of the witnesses, those writing in the deed of purchase, before the eyes of all the Jews who were sitting in the Courtyard of the Guard.” (Jeremiah 32:9-12) Although the foregoing example concerns a purchase rather than a loan, it shows the importance of handling monetary transactions in a clear, unambiguous way.-See The Watchtower, May 1, 1973, pages 287-8.
If difficulties arise, Christians should try to resolve them in harmony with Jesus’ counsel recorded at Matthew -17. But one elder who has tried to be helpful in such matters comments: “In nearly every case, there was an absence of a written agreement. As a result, there was no clear understanding between the two parties as to how the loan had to be repaid. I am convinced that putting these matters in writing is a sign of love, not of mistrust.”
The Bible urges caution, saying: “Do not get to be among those striking hands, among those who go security for loans
Once we have made an agreement, we should certainly strive to keep our word. Jesus exhorted: “Just let your word Yes mean Yes, your No, No; for what is in excess of these is from the wicked one.” (Matthew 5:37) If some unforeseen problem prevents us from repaying the loan on schedule, we should immediately explain the situation to the lender.
Yet, unfavorable circumstances do not excuse us from our responsibilities. A person who fears Jehovah does his best to keep his word. (Psalm 15:4) Although matters may not turn out as we expected, we should be prepared to make sacrifices in order to pay our debts, since that is our Christian responsibility.
Of course, the borrower is not the only one who needs to weigh matters carefully. Before lending money, we are wise if we take the time to consider matters carefully and objectively. ”-Proverbs .
A brother who is asked for a loan also has to calculate the expense
Before committing yourself, consider what might happen if the brother is unable to pay you back. Would you then have serious financial problems yourself? Even though the brother may have the best of intentions, circumstances can change or his calculations es 4:14 reminds all of us: “You do not know what your life will be tomorrow. For you are a mist appearing for a little while and then disappearing.”-Compare Ecclesiastes 9:11.
Especially in the case of a business loan, it would be wise to consider the reputation of the borrower. Is he known for being trustworthy and reliable, or is he inept at handling financial matters? Does he have a tendency to go around the congregation asking various ones for money? It is wise to bear in mind these words: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.”-Proverbs .
At times, a loan may not be in the best interests of the borrower either. It could easily become a burden for him, robbing him of his joy. Do we want such a brother to become our “servant”? Might a loan affect our relationship, fostering uneasiness or even embarrassment if he is unable to repay it?