The Bible amply supplies us with financial advice and here we have yet another piece of sound advice from one of the wealthiest men in the history of Israel.
When we put up security for a stranger, we are placing the welfare of our own families, our own peace, and our own financial obligations at the mercy of another person’s financial integrity.
It is chaining yourself to the character and circumstances of someone else. Whatever he does wrong from a financial perspective will have a direct impact on you and your family. Even if it is a person of integrity, unforeseen setbacks may come his way and suddenly they become your setbacks too. Suddenly, all his troubles become the troubles of you and your family too.
Therefore, we are reminded often in Scripture to not put up security for another person’s debt. According to the author of Proverbs, King Solomon, a person who does so will surely suffer. Being as wealthy as he was and having had such great insight into human behavior, I believe he was given the authority to advise others on sound financial principles. It will serve us well to heed his advice.
The reason the proverb refers to ‘stranger‘ is because it wants to make clear that it is folly to put so much at risk for a person you nothing of. This could also be a friend, but whose financial integrity is not known to you. Sometimes we may think we know a person but their financial affairs are really not known to us at all.
It is therefore wisdom to avoid signing security for someone else’s debt, regardless of how well we think we know the person.
- How To Improve Your Finances (nationaldebtrelief.com)