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What Does the Bible Say About...Giving and Expecting a Return?

I read not long ago about what the Bible says about giving people money and that you should not ask for it back and in the samre area of the Bible it said something about eating with friends and not saying that it must be nice to have thing like this. Can you tell me where I can find this? I use the New American Bible (Catholic). Thanks.


The closest passage I could find to answer your question is Luke 6:30-36. I quote it here from the Authorized Version (King James Version):

"Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."

The main difference between this version and the New American Bible is that where this version says "what thank have ye," the other says "what credit is that to you." Also, where the AV says "if ye lend" the NAB specifies "if you lend money."

I cannot find anything similar to the second part of your question. Essentially this passage says to lend money (or anything) without expecting a return. If you provide a meal for someone, don't do it with the hope that they will feed you, too. Anything you do, do it out of a good motive rather than a selfish one.

Just yesterday a friend called my attention to "The Vision of Sir Launfal", a poem by James Russell Lowell. That excellent poem is based on the concept taught in these verses. Lines 163-165 of that poem put it this way: "That is no true alms which the hand can hold;/ He gives nothing but worthless gold/ Who gives from a sense of duty."

Incidentally, in Luke 6 Jesus does not forbid accepting the loan back, even with interest, if it is offered by the one you loaned to. It just says don't you ask for it back.