Pondering the Principles of Proverbs
or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger--
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said--
follow my advice and save yourself,
for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net. (Pro. 6:1-5)
In this day and age of high prices and our desire for “high-ticket” items, this section may seem a little antiquated.
Let's see, however, if there is not some modern-day wisdom that can be gleaned from this.
The writer is obviously speaking about co-signing for a loan, and he writes that if we have already done that, then do everything possible to get out of it.
Get out NOW!
Really? Who told you such nonsense? How do you know that?
The reality is—we don't know that. It is just the way things appear in this time of inflation. It is also the way things appear to the kids who are accustomed to having what they want when they want it.
There is no law nor societal pressure that says your child MUST have a new car at graduation or before going off to college. But, talk to many parents today and one would think I must be living under a rock on Mars.
Here's a quote from U.S. News and World Report: “The advice for cosigning a loan for a family member or friend is always virtually the same: Don't do it “ (emphasis added)
This is just a straight-up business report not written from a biblical viewpoint, but from a business viewpoint. Don't co-sign.
The article goes on to point out that the co-signer is liable for the debt if the signer defaults.
“Oh, but my child would never do that to me!”
Really? When people get into a tough spot, who do they look out for? You? Or themselves?
Here's a question asked of BankRate.com about a girl who got what she wanted from her parents and grandparents. Now they are suffering. We know this is common these days due to the failure of parents to teach their children character-building traits.
Surely the school and the church will do that since I have to work all the time? (Keep me off that soapbox, please!!)
The point is, this wisdom was given millenia ago, and it has not changed. It is true for a capitalist society such as ours. It is true for any other economy as well.
If you find yourself in the position of having co-signed on a loan, do everything you can—RIGHT NOW-- to get that monkey off your back.
The next issue deals with how to help your child get that car or house. Be sure to stay tuned.
I have skipped over chapter 5 of Proverbs, because it deals with warnings about playing around with adultery. We as a society have gotten to the place where the word “adultery” is hardly even used anymore. We've given up on the idea of fornication, and call it “serial monogamy.”
What we don't realize is that the warnings of the consequences listed in chapter five are all around us. We fail to connect the situation in our life at the moment to things that we may have done in the past. Yet this section on adultery clearly states the outcome for those who choose to ignore the warnings. There is one short part encouraging us to be faithful to our spouse. I leave it to the reader to peruse chapter five and glean the wisdom contained therein.
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