Just this week I was working with our bank and found myself so frustrated by all their demands. I was thinking, “We’ve been their customer for many years, why is it so difficult to get their help when we need it?, “As long as we’re giving them money they love us, once we ask for help, we get scrutinized like crazy.”, “Why don’t they trust us?”, etc.
And of course God brings this verse front and center for me. I actually quoted it out loud a few times in my frustration.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (22:7)
It’s just practical wisdom – the borrower is servant to the leader. Period.
I remember when my husband and I first got married. Each of us had foolishly racked up some credit card debt in college, so when we combined all of our finances we realized we had some problems. We immediately created an aggressive plan to get ourselves out of this mess. As any newlywed couple, we were anxious to buy our first house, start a family – I mean get a dog ￼ , and start the “good life”. We found the cheapest apartment we could find (not necessarily the safest), drove our old clunker cars, attempted to live off of my meager salary of $23,000 a year and planned to put all of Merlyn’s income towards our debt. We both remember those agonizing days of eating peanut butter sandwiches (I happen to love peanut butter but when that’s the majority of what you eat it gets a bit tiring), barely having enough gas money to get to work and sharing a meal at the mexican restaurant on date night – a whopping $5 dinner with all the chips and salsa you can eat!
Merlyn worked a job making only commission so checks were sporadic, but when they came in they were usually a decent amount of money. He would come home from work with his hard-earned paycheck in hand and immediately we would write a check for the entire amount back to our creditors.
“The borrower is servant to the lender”
We eventually paid off that chunk of debt. I don’t remember exactly how we celebrated but I remember vividly that feeling of freedom.
So while my conversations with the bank this week are not the extreme of those early days. Any amount of borrowing instantly brings back the memories of that loss of freedom.
I hate it when I have to experience the pain of not heeding God’s principles. I guess He does know what He’s talking about!
Have you experienced the pain of not heeding this principle?
What has God taught you through it?
What did you see from the passage today?