Bacon, Eggs and God
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If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
When the Mosaic Law was instituted, international commerce was not being carried out by the Israelites and the lending of money with interest for its use in trade was not practiced. The only occasion for loans would be to supply the immediate necessities of the borrower, but the exaction of interest under such circumstances often came with great hardships; the loss of land and even of personal freedom. The insolvent debtor and his family became the slaves of the creditor. To prevent these evils, the lending of money on interest to any poor Israelite was strictly forbidden (Leviticus 25:23-55.). Later, during the reign of Solomon, the commerce of the Israelites became vastly developed and trade was conducted with other nations. The lending of money with interest for use in trade became commonplace and also suretyship.
The Word of God teaches us not only divine wisdom, but also common sense, that we may conduct our affairs with discretion. One important lesson is to avoid suretyship (guarantor for another person’s debt).
We are to be good stewards of God’s provisions and have to answer to the Lord for our disposal of it. We are not to waste it on impulsive proposals or arrangements that may entangle us in difficulties. The principles of domestic, social, and political economy in the scriptures are far more wise, as well as righteous, than can be found in the verbiage of any worldly book.
There are two things necessary to justify becoming a guarantor of someone else’s debt. First, the circumstance should be worthy. Ask yourself, “Is there a real need or am I merely yielding to a person’s desires?” Second, you should be fully competent to discharge the obligation. It is wrong for a person to enter into arrangements that are beyond their means.
It has been my experience that the most deserving person will seldom ask for suretyships and the most competent person will seldom undertake the responsibility.
Those who would trade on your friendship do not have your best interest in mind. It would be wise to consider before committing.