Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

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“My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
   or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
   and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
    for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
    go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
    Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
   like a bird fleeing from a net.”

—Proverbs 6:1–5

One of the big (should i say BIG) priorities we have set  as a family this year is to become more financially solvent.  While we have not cosigned for other people’s loans, we have misused our finances, and dug a bit of a hole that is daunting to climb out of.  The application in the devotion goes on:

This passage warns about being very careful, when dealing with financial matters, to avoid doing such business with people you either don’t know well (a stranger) or with whom you are very close (a friend). It seems best, from these verses, to do financial business only with someone you trust and know well (but are not too close to). Otherwise do what you can to get out of the deal—quickly! It seems that important. One more thing to note: In this passage a father is giving instruction about finances to his children. Teach your children about money and finances!   Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

Sadly I must confess from first hand experience that I did not heed wisdom and involved myself in a situation last year with family which was very challenging and difficult.  While there was not significant financial risk to myself, there was emotional vulnerability, and an uneven yolk with a family member that does not believe in Jesus.  We look at the world through vastly different world mindsets.  He was involved in the issue because he saw only opportunity to gain financially.  I was involved because it was the moral and ethical good to care for this family member.  Sadly, I must confess that in 6 short months I found myself emotionally spent, exhasperated and unable to continue that arrangement.   So use caution, and especially when there is money involved.

A new year has begun, yet the shadows of past years and past mistakes follow us, finding new life in our memories and our checkbooks.  Lord, take this new year, wipe the slate clean, and take us on to where you want us to be.  Healthy in every aspect of our lives.  Take the lessons we have learned and mold us, shape us, and conform us to your Word.  And thank you that your wisdom is greater than any we would ever have.  Amen.

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Written by Barbara Bloom

January 5, 2009 at 5:05 PM

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