When I was growing up our family was always borrowing things from the neighbors. My mom would be in the middle of making dinner when she would realize that she was out a critical ingredient, and she would ask my sister or me to go next door to see if we could borrow a teaspoon of baking powder or a couple of eggs.
We moved to Michigan when I was a young teenager, and my Dad would have me run over to Mr. Schwartz’s house for a special tool or part. Mr. Schwartz was a retired mechanic and had virtually every tool imaginable and was a great source of advice. When we traveled “up North” on weekends to our cottage and the water pump was frozen, the furnace was out, or the sailboat needed something repaired, Don Berg was “the man.” His workshop was truly amazing. Every tool was beautifully outlined with yellow tape and labeled. Every item was in its place, a goal I have been trying to achieve for years.
When was the last time you borrowed something from one your neighbors? I can only remember a handful of things we have borrowed in all the time we have lived here in Vermont.
Acts 4:32-34 says, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions, was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them. There were no needy persons among them.”
What a wonderful picture of true Christian community and what the world could be like. One of the key principles I have learned from my work with Financial Peace University is that God owns everything. When we look at our possessions from this perspective and not as an owner, it makes loaning and borrowing much easier.
For me, borrowing has been the more difficult challenge. It is probably a matter of pride and convenience. But I also see the benefits. Asking to borrow something keeps us humble, gives others a chance to be helpful, builds relationships, creates community, and of course saves us money.
So here is your challenge. The next time you are getting ready to jump in the car to go buy something, think about someone in your neighborhood you might be able to borrow it from. Besides saving some money and gas, you might be surprised at what else might happen.
In the meantime, I better get my tools organized, so I can find the tool you might need to borrow.