I was raised in a household in which if we borrow something, we return it. If we borrow money, we repay it.
That’s all well and good, however, in the past couple years, I’m beginning to see the joy of giving without expecting a reciprocal gift in return. Of receiving help without strings attached.
And it’s a hard lesson. When someone gives something, a large and generous gift, and expects nothing in return, in fact, gives it to you in such a way that all you can hope for is the ability to pay it forward at some point in the future, with no hope of paying it back, it’s a blow to the pride.
I’ve spent my entire adult life paying back what I owed, no matter how long it takes. For someone to give me a gift, especially a financial gift, without strings, was incredibly easy. For them. For me to accept that gift was something else altogether.
What have I learned from this?
If a family member needs a loan and I have the money, it’s going to be a gift. When it’s a loan, it places unnecessary burden on the people involved. I don’t want to be leaning on that person to pay me back.
On the other hand, if I don’t have the money (and I usually don’t), then I will have to pass altogether.
This is something I’m praying about, considering, and wanting to change about myself. Just because I want this, doesn’t mean my automatic thinking on the matter will change overnight.
Obviously, I’m going to pay my bills and my credit cards. But I’m not going into a loan situation with family again. I will however, give gifts, if I can.