By Tope Banso
“Don’t promise to pay what someone else owes; and don’t guarantee anyone’s loan. If you cannot pay the loan, your own bed may be taken right out from under you” (Proverbs 22:26-27 New Century Version).
Few days ago, an online newspaper published a news story of a 41-year old woman in Oyo State, Nigeria, who committed suicide by hanging. She stood as guarantor for a friend, for a bank loan at a micro-finance bank, but the friend ran away without repaying the loan.
This loan guarantor probably considered the burden of repaying the loan too much to bear and took her life. The amount of the loan in question was not stated.
I had hoped the story was not true, but the story added that the police confirmed the incident. If the story is true, it is sad. One can only pray that the LORD would comfort the family and give them the fortitude to bear the loss. The rate at which people commit suicide these days over problems and challenges that people would have handled differently in the past, is of serious concern.
Needless to say that suicide is cowardice! People need to be told that suicide is not the way out of any problem one caused or one is a victim of. People must stop seeing suicide as heroism! Heroes stay alive to face their challenges and turn defeat to victory. True heroes have faith in God and take actions that God uses to turn their situations around. They fight to the end.
Suppose the person who took the loan in the news story shows up later, and repays the loan. Can the person who committed suicide come back to life? No. Loans can be repaid but a suicide victim cannot be brought back from the dead after the loan has been repaid.
Having said that, it is important to state that some people are in trouble today because they acted as guarantor for somebody they did not know intimately and they’ve not proved. This can be for a loan or bail. If you’re going to stand as guarantor, be sure you know the person truly well. If not, be sure you have enough to repay the loan yourself or face the consequences of his jumping bail!
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:26-27, “Don’t promise to pay what someone else owes; and don’t guarantee anyone’s loan. If you cannot pay the loan, your own bed may be taken right out from under you” (New Century Version). This is because there is no rest for you if the person defaults. This is the cause of the trouble some are in today. And God’s wisdom would have saved them from this.
Proverbs 11:15 warns, “Whoever guarantees to pay somebody else’s loan will suffer. It is safer to avoid such promises” (New Century Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “Guaranteeing a loan for a stranger is dangerous; it is better to refuse than to suffer later.”
Don’t stand as guarantor for a stranger, and if the person is a friend, be sure he is truly a friend. In the event of default, some loan guarantors may not commit suicide, like the unfortunate case of the woman I referred to earlier, but may end up repaying the loan. Don’t put yourself in an avoidable trouble because you are sentimental or want everybody to see you as a nice person.
Here is what Proverbs 6:1-5 says: “My child, if you co-sign a loan for a friend or guarantee the debt of someone you hardly know — if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said — quick, get out of it if you possibly can! 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 deer escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net” (New Living Translation).
One of the ways to stay out of trouble in life is to beware who you stand guarantor for, whether for bail or for a loan. Be sure you don’t only know the person, but you have proved him or her very well. You should also be sure the person has the capacity to repay the loan or will not default on the terms of the loan or bail. May you not get into trouble for standing as guarantor or surety for anyone in Jesus’ name.
Perhaps this advice is too late for you. You may currently be in trouble for standing as guarantor or surety for someone. Please stay alive to solve the problem; don’t contemplate suicide. With God, all things are possible. Trust in God, pray for the person you stood as guarantor for, pray for yourself, and if need be, pay! Learn your lessons.
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINT: Father, help me not to stand as guarantor or surety for anyone who will put me in trouble.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso heads Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, & can be reached email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947