Originally, I had intended to tackle Proverbs 6:1-19 in one fell swoop, but sometimes the direction we are called to follow is poles apart from the path we have laid out for ourselves. So, today’s post is reserved for a fool and his money, and how putting our reputation on the line for someone else’s debt is not a very wise move.
When I was 19, my dad did this very thing for me. I had gotten it into my mind that I would like to take a trip to the Holy Land, and since I had just quit college, and had only been employed for a few short months, I didn’t have the money. Dad cosigned on a loan for me, and while I did understand that there was no way I could ever face him again, if I didn’t pay it back, I don’t think I was fully aware of the risk he took for me. It was HIS honor on the line, not mine. I’m glad my dad didn’t take Solomon’s advice, and that I didn’t leave him holding the bag. I have been witness to many an instance where others were not as careful about how they have treated another’s reputation as I was with my dad’s. Sometimes the things we do in the name of love, in the name of friendship, of business, or of just plain neighborliness, don’t work out exactly as we imagine they might, bringing us to loss and disgrace.
Once again, as I’m finding with most of the Proverbs, the subject applies to more than simply guaranteeing someone else’s loan. It also applies to vouching for another’s integrity, which, I guess, is really what we do when we “cosign” for someone else.
We take a chance, when we put our faith in anyone other than God, and hitching our star to someone else is risky business at best. While I’m certain that God wants us to help each other as much as we can, it’s not a very wise move to vouch for another man’s debts. It’s a trap, entangling us into compromising positions, ensnaring us by our words, deceiving us into heart ache, and unless we are prepared to walk into all sorts of troubles, and live by the consequences, it’s a practice best avoided.
Note: At last, after a several days of fever-induced delirium, a few more of wild coughing and headache, I’ve finally gotten to post about Proverbs 6 – YAY!!!