Give it to them if you can, or don’t do it. It isn’t worth ruining your relationship. I just read a very sad story over at Ultimate Money Blog about loaning a friend money. They needed the money, so she gave it to them. Now after months of saying they would pay it back and then avoiding them and not following through the friendship has mostly been ruined.
It is a terrible situation to be put in, but if a friend or family member asks you for money you have to either say no, or be prepared to give it to them as a gift. Most people have enough pride that this is a last resort, if they are coming to you for money they don’t have any other options. What that means is they most likely won’t be able to pay you back. If you have the money and you really think they need it, give them the money. But don’t expect it back. If you do the relationship will almost certainly suffer.
Proverbs 22:7 – The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
This is a very important verse in Proverbs. It is one of my favorite. Many times it is used in the context of not going into debt. I have a post along those lines planned in fact. But here it is just as relevant, and maybe even more important. The borrower is servant to the lender. Your relationship changes when you become the lender and your friend is the borrower. Some translations use slave instead of servant to show an even stronger relationship.
When you have a loan between you every conversation includes talk of it, even if things are going ok. “I get paid next Thursday and then I’ll get the payment on the weekend.” “I don’t have it today but I’ll get it to you this Friday, I promise.” You don’t want your friendship to turn into the relationship you have with your banker.
When loaning / giving money to friends or family, there is also a fine line between helping and enabling. Is this the first time it has happened and is because of an extraordinary circumstance? Or is this the eighth time and because he can’t hold a job for more than 2 months. In the first situation giving the money could maybe be considered, in the second it almost certainly should not.
If it can be avoided, don’t do it. If you have the money and you want to or think you should help, go ahead and help. Do it as a gift though, and don’t expect to get the money back. If you need the money back, you shouldn’t give it to them. Your relationship is too important.