I rarely carry large sums of cash. The reason being, if I have access to cash, I spend it. On payday I give myself an allowance for the upcoming two weeks. Out of that allowance I also play a game and place any bills whose serial number includes four of a kind, three sets of doubles, two sets of triples, a straight, or a full house into my “Funny Money Vacay Fund”—my mad money for cash purchases while on vacation (I spent it down recently, but it’s usually between $300-$500). It’s an easy way to save for fun purchases, so I don’t have to stress over vacay cash. I’m not too strict about dipping into the stash pre-vacay—I just remind myself that’s $20 I won’t have for fun stuff if i spend it now. Usually, I really need the cash, the reminder usually stops me from dipping into the fund—but it’s there if the need arises. Some weeks I have multiple winning serial numbers and a lot, if not most, of my allowance goes into the fund. On those weeks, I know I’ll likely hit the fund since my allowance shrunk. Some weeks I don’t have any winning serial numbers. Bu t because I want to have vacay cash, those weeks I typically add $20 non-winning money. The remainder of my allowance I use for fast-food dinners, Diet Dr Peppers, and small items I don’t want to put on my card.
This week I’ve had a surplus of cash.
Not because I’ve not made purchases, because I have. And the surplus is not a large sum. But every time I’ve needed cash, someone has just repaid me for a loan or a meal I bought them. It’s just a couple of dollars. The cost of toast or breakfast in a couple of cases. Lunch in another. A bit of cash for gas. Nothing much. In every single case, I had forgotten I had done anything for anyone. Even as the people handed me the money and said, “Thanks for ….” I looked at them with a blank expression. I truly had forgotten I had helped them out.
I think I forget because when I lend someone something, unless it is something that is near and dear to my heart (like an heirloom passed down through the generations), or something with great sentimental value (like an autographed book by my favorite author—who I happen to also call a personal friend), I loan without expecting a return. It’s actually a Biblical principle.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:36 New International Version (NIV).
I love the NIV, but it almost makes this particular verse sound as if your action is what makes you a child of God. But that’s not what it’s saying, because the Bible is very clear that we do not become Children of God through our works or good deeds, but rather, we become His Children when we accept His free gift of salvation.
What the verse above is actually saying is when we, the Children of God, take these actions: loving our enemies and doing good to and for them, and lending money without expecting to get anything in return— those actions don’t save us, but they do serve as the outward reminder to onlookers of who we are: Gods Kids.
Neither the meals I bought, nor the cash I loaned, were to people I would consider my enemies, but the principle applies to friends as well. When I loan, I do not expect repayment—and as a result, I usually forget I’ve even made the loan. However, it was nice to have the money coming back to me throughout the week, because it’s been one of those weeks where I have already spent most of my allowance—and I’m only three days into the first week. But each time the need for a bit of cash arose, it was right after someone else had repaid me. Because the loans were repaid, I didn’t have to dip into the Funny Money Vacay Fund.
What goes around really does come back around. Just like ‘70s psychedelic clothes and ‘80s big hair—maybe I should change that to ‘80s shoulder pads, because Texas Hair is always big.