Commitments that Compromise
Monday, May 07, 2018
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son,
and save yourself . . .
The Brown-eyed Baby and I got started in home ownership because my Dad co-signed the note. It was a very small mortgage, to be sure, but without his name on the dotted line it might as well have been a million bucks a month. So I read Solomon’s stern warning here and wonder—what would he have said to my Dad?
Well, for starters, he would have told us to reread the operative phrase here: for a stranger (v.1). Yes, the stranger is a neighbor . . . geographically. But the neighbor in this case (Heb., zār) is some somebody with whom you happen to have some passing relationship—but in reality, a stranger—not a son you want to help toward maturity. No, Solomon has in mind the rescue mentality, the nearly neurotic need to find your self-esteem by playing knight in shining armor or psychological paramedic.
The danger here has little to do with money. Scripture urges us to give freely to people in need, expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35). But danger lurks in making commitments that put your integrity or well-being in the hands of a stranger. Giving is Godlike and faithfulness is a virtue, but beware of entanglements. Don’t risk your money, your time, or your peace of mind just to be liked or lauded. Beware of commitments that compromise.
Welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day. Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers! Psalm 141:9
Share This Post