Eight Arguments Against Debt 3 – Prohibition Against Surety

There are Biblical grounds for staying out of debt. Any one of these is sufficient reason for people to avoid debt, as much as it is within their power. When put together, they become a formidable array of reasons why debt should be avoided.

3. Prohibition Against Surety

Proverbs 6:1-3 says the following: "My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; for you have come into the hand of your
friend: go and humble yourself; plead with your friend."
These words are an encouragement to anyone who has taken the position as guarantor for any debts, that he should do everything in his power to get out of this obligation. While this is not so much a specific command against debt, it is certainly an instruction from God that makes borrowing much more difficult.

The concept of avoiding surety is repeated later in Proverbs 22:26: "Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts." These words are self-explanatory.

There are reasons for this discouragement against being a guarantor for loans. In Psalm 119:122 the psalmist asks God to be His surety. "Be surety for Your servant for good." It is too easy to seek security from sources other than God. This is what both the borrower and the lender seek to do by having someone as guarantor for the loan. The guarantor is someone who can ultimately get the borrower out of his predicament of meeting his loan obligations, while the same guarantor protects the lender when the borrower defaults. The Bible encourages us to seek our surety in God because we are His bondslaves or servants. Asking others to be surety for us is a rejection of God as our Surety. Acting as a surety for another is an attempt to take the place of God in the life of that person.

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