“A man void of understanding strikes hands and becomes collateral in the presence of his neighbor.” (Pro 17:18)

Someone, obviously of Jewish heritage, once said that a guarantor is just a “schmuck with a pen”. Perhaps this is a somewhat unkind designation, yet quite possibly the sentiment of this Jewish gentleman agrees with the Word of God.

Don’t put up security for a neighbor. If you have pledged for another, go now and unshackle yourself from potential disaster. Only you can meet the obligations you promise to another. You cannot guarantee the debts or behaviors of others.

In business we know that sometimes we have to provide collateral but let us do so cognoscente of the view expressed above. Don’t do it for others, don’t do it at all if possible, or see it as a short-term necessity, to be untangled from, at the earliest possible juncture.

God is quite clear, don’t be a schmuck.

Quick Prayer: Free me from pledges. Amen.


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