A young woman contacted me recently with some grave concerns. She had been living with a man who had written some bad checks and forged some money orders that were supposed to pay the rent on their apartment. The money was not spent on the rent and the young lady was quite surprised when the landlord said the rent was in arrears. Rather than see the man go to jail, she agreed to pay his fines. After all, they were friends and housemates.
The young lady (I'll call her Irene) has since started going to church and developing a relationship with her Heavenly Father. Irene feels that the more she pays the housemate's debts (I'll call him Doug), the more wrong he does as he sees no consequence for his actions. She questioned whether or not she should continue to pay the fines.
I gave her some scripture references and advised her to also speak to her pastor and get his advice. I suggested she ask for scripture to back up his position as our decisions should always be based on God's word, not our emotions or what we want.
The scriptures I gave her were: Proverbs 6:1; Proverbs 17:18; Leviticus 27:9, 10; Numbers 30:1, 2; Matthew 5:33 to the end of the chapter; Genesis 31:32; Leviticus 5:4; and Judges 11:34, 35. The first three references deal with the fact that when you agree to bear someone else's financial obligations, be it co-signing for a loan, mortgage, or any other debt, you are trapping yourself into a situation that may be very difficult, if not impossible to get out of. The remaining verses are about keeping your promises. Your word should be reliable. When you promise something you should really consider all of the ramifications before giving it because it is a reflection of who you are and what you believe. It is a reflection of your character.
Irene did go to her pastor and he gave her a different answer. For more information and guidance go to www.pleasantgrovekjv.com and listen to the sermon "Take Heed and Beware Part 6). I have a great deal of respect for this pastor. I have visited this church. That sermon was not posted online yet this morning. Even though I may disagree with the pastor from time to time, I will never try to influence anyone to go against his teaching and preaching. Just search everything out for yourself. Study the scriptures and pray and seek God's will. He always has the right answer and He always wants the best for you. God bless.