“A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge, and puts up security for his neighbor” is sound advice!
Only the hardest of hearts wants to see anyone suffer from a lack of life’s necessities. Most of us want to be thought of as having kind hearts and willing hands. Many have given more than their share of their goods and finances without thinking of the cost to them personally. What seemed wise, in the final analysis was not. So, we come to a verse that puts the idea of giving into context for us.
It’s foolish, or a “man lacks judgment,” for a person to place their name on a contract unless they know for certain the character and financial resources of the other person. So, there is indeed a limit to friendship.
Very often, and with good intentions and the desire to be “liked,” we foolhardily shake hands or “make a pledge” for a person who cannot or will not honor their word. To enter into any agreement with any person for any reason must be given careful, prayerful thought. It is foolish to give our word and promise to fulfill any contract simply to be liked or considered a “friend.”
This proverb addresses the idea of “certainty.” If, for example, the person who is the primary individual on the contract becomes unable to fulfill his obligations, the burden of fulfilling the obligation falls on the “hand shaker.” To do so may endanger the family of the co-signer as well as encourage the one wanting financial assistance to be extravagant and careless in spending.
Prayer: We ask, Lord, that we may seek Your wisdom and guidance before making foolish choices to help others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 17:18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.