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Subject:  Re: Everyone has money - until someone needs it. Date:  6/5/2001  5:15 PM
Author:  Benevolent Number:  151116 of 908812

I've gotten into trouble quoting Scripture on this board before, but I feel the prior exchanges warrant two short quotes.

"Judge not that ye may not be judged."


"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit."

Many people paraphrase the second passage as "judge a tree by the fruit it bears."

Ducks is right about judgment. God expects us to use our brains to make judgments - about our own ethical decisions, about the way we treat others, about how much money to lend people.

But he and others are also right about the hubris of judging individuals. Judging individuals for their conduct is God's prerogative, not ours.

So yes, feel free to judge situations as your mind understands them. And by all means use judgment in your dealings with others. We're fools (small f) not to use the best judgment possible, and that includes wise stewardship of our money. But when we cross the line from judging ACTIONS and SITUATIONS and start judging PEOPLE, everybody loses.

Personally, I would lend $1,500 to my oldest sister if she really needed it, because she doesn't waste her money, and I know she wouldn't ask unless she was truly at the end of her rope. On the other hand, I would not lend money to my youngest sister, who couldn't hold on to a dime if it was sewed into her pocket. I love them both dearly and can make those decisions by consdering the fruit of the tree, without cutting down the tree itself.

But none of you on this board know my family, so you can't make those decisions accurately. I would be equally out of line if I presumed to know enough about your families to pass judgment on your lending decisions.

Digrat, I greatly respect the compassion you demonstrated in helping out when it's needed. Such actions are intesely personal and require a lot more thought that what is best from an LBYM standpoint. I've read enough of your posts to believe that you have the intelligence to know what to do with your own money.

Don't let anyone here, including me, make you feel bad for exercising your own judgment. After all, isn't making your own financial decisions what The Motley Fool is all about?


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