11 March 2021

Proverbs 17:18

One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
    and puts up security for a neighbor.

This is one of several proverbs warning against putting up security for another person (6:1; 11:15; 22:26). The concern is putting one’s self at risk. Putting up security for another person is saying that I will make good what that person cannot, even though I will reap no benefit from what I give.

Are you able to say that with contentment? Are you able to part, without harm and with contentment, from whatever will be required of you? Will you be able to keep the relationship that you now have with the person you are putting up security for during the time that he is still under his obligation and if he is unable to meet his obligation? If so, then feel free to sign.

But if you will be harmed; if you will fret over your loss or possible loss; if your relationship will be tested by his ability to come through then know that you are putting that relationship under strain, as well as your own peace. And if you have a family, then you are risking their welfare.

The pressure to put up security comes about because of the relationship likely a family member or a friend. You do want to see him succeed. You don’t want to let him down. Perhaps not signing will itself strain the relationship. And what if it does work out, and he does repay and is grateful because you helped him when he was in need? You showed faith when others would not!

Again, you must weigh the risk. Failing to pay his due, or he does pay but only under the weight of a burden now to you is that a risk worth taking? Again, if you are married or have a family, if others are dependent on you can you put that at risk? For risk is the definition of a security put up for another person.

But what about Jesus? Did he not risk much for our sakes? He did, but as a gift, not as a loan. And he definitely did not put up his life as our security in hopes that we might be able to pay back the debt. If you wish to be generous, then be generous with gifts, not with loans; not with anything that you must have back.


2 Corinthians 9

There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.


Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!