Summary: We might call this a warning against ill-considered kindness, or against unnecessary debt creation. God does not want you needlessly in debt or responsible for someone who is.
PROVERBS 6: 1-5
THE SNARE OF OVER-EXTENDED FINANCIAL OBLIGATION
Our master teacher warns against becoming liable for the financial obligations of others. These verses are not a case against generosity, but against overextending one’s financial resources and acting in irresponsible ways that could lead to financial problems.
It is important to maintain a balance between generosity and good stewardship. God wants us to help our friends and the needy, but He does not promise to cover the costs of every unwise commitment we make. We should also act responsibly so that our family does not suffer.
We might call this a warning against ill-considered kindness, or against unnecessary debt creation. This warning against standing in pledge for another or providing financial backing for someone in debt is common in Proverbs (11:15; 17:18; 22:26-27). God does not want you needlessly in debt or responsible for someone who is (CIT)
I. SNARED BY A LOAN, 1-2.
II. EXONERATED BY SELF-DELIVERANCE, 3-5.
The warning in Proverbs 6:1 is against becoming accountable for another person’s high-interest loan, (not against borrowing or lending). "My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, have given a pledge (hand) for a stranger,"
Solomon cautions us against being hurt by an imprudent friend or by a person we do not know well. Putting up security is referred to frequently in Proverbs (11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27; 27:13). To become surety is to be a cosigner on a loan and since it is unsecured, a high interest loan. The cosigner is responsible for the debt should the borrower, the one who actually received the loan default, or be unable to repay the loan in part or in full.
This warning is not against loaning money (Prov. 19:17, 28:27; Ps. 112:5) or against co-signing any loan. It is a caution directed against rashly stepping in to help or cosigning a loan for another ("neighbor" probably means anybody). We should order our affairs with prudence and discretion, and many times that will force us to say no, even when our emotions would like to say yes.
God does not want you needlessly in debt or responsible for someone who is. Borrowing with no purchase that can be used as security is not wise. Some of us need some help in this area so let’s look at some ways to analyze this decision and make it EASIER TO HEAR AND SAY NO.
*Remove the refusal from a personal basis or level. Make it clear that while you appreciate the other person and his request, because of the premises under which you are operating you must refuse. [You don’t believe borrowing money is the right modus operands].
*Indicate that you don’t enjoy saying, "no". "Nothing would please me more than to go along with you, and I dislike what it will do to you, but I must say no."
*Give evidence that you have studied the situation. Comment on the considerations that entered into denying the request.
*Help him say no to the idea or desire himself. Show him the factors involved in such a way that he may reach the negative conclusion before you break the news to him. [What you want is not essential or mandatory for life or survival.]
*Suggest some factors which might have changed the no to yes. "Now if the situation had been....thus and so" or, "If your request had not involved the need for such a sum of money. . ." ..If your level of income was different...." "But you realize that. . ."
*Help him see the situation from your perspective. "If you were in my place, what would you do?"
* Let your no be said in a nice way. Speaking of the president of a great institution one of his employee’s said, He sometimes refused my requests, but he did it so kindly and graciously that I didn’t feel upset by his refusal."
These are some ways to refuse being held accountable for another’s high interest loan and teach while you do.
Verse 2 begins advising those who have been pressured or persuaded into a financial obligation or contract. "If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, have been caught with the words of your mouth."
Many have entered into virtual promises without knowing how far they were pledging themselves nor all the elements concerning the financial issue. It’s easily done, caught up in the moment or in the persuasive talk. But it will not be so easily cleared up for it is a snare and now you have "been caught by your words" or your agreeing to cosign a debt. It could lead to serious trouble. The simple and naive are especially at risk.
Christian prudence will keep us clear of such rash agreements which can bring distress on our families, dishonor to our name and reproach to our religion and church. Yes, a good man shows favor and lends, but he must guide his financial affairs with prudence (Ps.112:5; Eccl. 8:13).