Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge
or puts up security for debts;
if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you.
It’s foolish to make promises we know we can’t keep. That was true when this proverb was written, and it’s still true today.
Yet we can be in such a hurry to get what we want that we find ourselves over our heads in debt. We can’t stand to wait, so we sign on the dotted line and get what we want now with the promise to pay later. Then, we cross our fingers and hope our ship comes in before the bill does!
Even though the Book of Proverbs was written thousands of years ago, the advice is still relevant: if you don’t have the money up front, don’t buy it!
Agreeing to make a regular payment, such as a car payment or a house payment is not foolish as long as your income ensures you have the ability to make the payments. But agreeing to pay for something when you don’t have the means to honor the loan is the honest and irresponsible.
Agreeing to guarantee someone else’s debts is even more foolish! Proverbs warns you never to bind your life with the foolish choices others have made.
Be careful, especially now while you’re young, that you don’t saddle yourself with debt. Get sound financial advice from your parents or from a good financial counselor. Keep yourself free to respond to God’s leading.
Wouldn’t it be tragic if God called you to seminary or to the mission field and you were too shackled with unnecessary debt to obey!
“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another;
for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
“The rich rules over the poor
and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” (Proverbs 22:7)
This article (other than the last scripture verses, which we added from the Bible) comes from the daily devotional book, The Experience: Day by Day with God: A Devotional and Journal, written by Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby, published by Broadman and Holman Publishers. This is not a book on finances, but rather a devotional book covering a wide variety of different subjects intended to help your spiritual walk with the Lord. The above thoughts can be found in the June 12th section of this devotional.
Filed under: Finances in Marriage