“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. Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”
Proverbs 6:1-5 NKJV
I have learned to avoid financial entanglements, as they can be a detriment to one who serves as a guaranteer for another. Should that person for whom one has cosigned, fail to make payments, those that have signed for them are in danger. They are bound to the debt that is owed.
As I read the passage in Proverbs, I could see more than just the obvious financial and legal implications of the passage. The Old Testament is useful in the it offers types and shadows for deeper spiritual applications.
As I grew as a Christian, I began to develop a discernment in dealing with others. I found, that by listening to the Holy Spirit, I could get a sense of the integrity of the people I surrounded myself with. I did not develop some kind of mystical sixth sense, but rather an understanding what is holy and how people who professed to be believers ought to behave.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
Knowing what I ought to see, helps me to recognize when I am seeing things that should not be.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV
Very often, followers of Jesus desire to have great reputations, to be know as moral, pious and righteous. It is not uncommon for more reputable followers to vouch for others, in the hope that the reputation of the greater will rub off on them. This is very true today, as many big name pastors have found themselves endorsing others who do not live to the same standards.
In these times, it is often necessary to distance ones self from others who are not as committed to the faith. In the most obvious situations one should be aggressive in not associating with them.
In these later days , it will be more and more apparent.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
I remember trying my hand at discipleship years ago. I was working with a young man who had stated his desire for holiness. I began to help him discover the resources found in the Bible. After a short time, it became apparent that he was not really interested in the work of sanctification, but only desired the reputation.
I tried to warn him of dangers of playing games with God, but he did not heed what I had to say, and the Lord destroyed his reputation. I am very happy that I had “stepped” away, and not endorsed him in anyway. He was a false professor, a person for whom the message of the Gospel had not become truly rooted in his heart.
Brothers and sisters, we are entering a period of testing, when the true character of those who profess to call upon the name of the Lord will be revealed. Do not be surprised when brother or sister so and so, turns on you. In some cases, those who are of the devil are working even now, as the pews are filled with false Christians, wolves sprinkled in amongst the sheep. They know who they are.
Cling to God and His word so that you can be filled and guided by the Holy Spirit, becoming a fruit inspector, thus protecting yourself and the flock.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!