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Payday loans are expensive. Interest rates range from 260 to 782%! Often these are the only loans poor people can afford. God told His ancient people never to charge interest to the poor, because doing so keeps them poor. Offering interest free loans to the poor was just one of the ethical practices God expected from people who came to worship. Psalm 15 expresses what God wanted from worshipers. “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?—those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts; those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends; those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts; those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.” Of course Christians today live under a New Covenant, but we can learn from the ethical values articulated by the psalmist.

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