Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be

March 14, 2002
by Mary Daniel

Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies and do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (NIV)

Matthew 5:42 – Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (KJV)

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be" is a familiar old phrase, and, for the most part, that is how I like to live. I don't borrow, and would rather give something than lend it, for lending, lots of times, leads to disappointment.

Some time ago, an associate asked if she could borrow a pin of significance that had been given to me, so that copies could be made and given to others within the organization. It was with internal reservations that I agreed, for I had that sinking feeling of maybe not seeing it again, as it left my hands.

The copies were made and distributed. Months went by, and the answers to my repeated requests for my pin's return were that the matter was being looked into. The long and short of it was that two months and several attempts after being given permission to look into it myself, the pin was located, but with one difference. The backing had been broken off in order to make the copies. The only compensation offered was that they could mail it to me rather than my picking it up.

No "pure-of-heart person" am I. The months between my looking into the matter and locating the pin were spent working through my anger, disappointment, and feelings of betrayal, knowing that there was something to be learned from the experience. I realized that perhaps the whole purpose of my being given the pin in the first place was that it might be shared with others.

We are given many opportunities to let go of earthly things, to share what we have with others, and to spread love, laughter, comfort, care, and understanding. On a much, much larger scale, God did not just loan, but gave, something far more precious to us than a mere pin: His Son.

When one puts it all in perspective, the pin doesn't even fit in.

Prayer: Help us to overcome our possessiveness, Lord. Help us to look to you for direction, when something is asked of us about which we are not sure. May we learn to live with love, accepting and learning from our disappointments, while learning not to disappoint. In Your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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