Read Proverbs Chapter 6.
“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger, you have been snared by the words of the your mouth, trapped by the words of your mouth.” Proverbs 6:1-2 CSB
I learned this lesson the hard way. When I first graduated college, I was a flight attendant. I had three roommates. I was the only one who had good credit, therefore, I had all of the utilities put into my name. This was before cell phones. In those days, we used phone cards for long distance calling, or you could charge it back to your home phone.
It never occurred to me this would be a problem. But it was.
One roommate in particular, had a boyfriend in Kansas. We were living in VA Beach. When she was on trips, she would call him, charging it to our home phone number. The first month I received the bill it was over $1100. Money I definitely did not have. I spent the next few months eating peanuts off of the plane in order to pay the bill in full. I also cut off the phone line, which led to a very unhappy roommate, so unhappy she moved out shortly afterwards.
It was a very difficult time for me. I felt like the bad guy, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. It was then I learned about this verse. I was flying with a pilot who was a man of God. I shared with him what was happening. He told me the Bible warned about putting up security for someone else’s debt. I had no idea the Bible talked about such things. Yet here it is.
I had done both things. I had put up security for a neighbor (she was after all living with me) and entered into an agreement with a stranger. I had never met her until we were in flight attendant school together.
It was a valuable lesson. One I’ve never forgotten. I have never done that again. It is good to want to help people. We have to be careful we aren’t enabling them in the process.