Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.
Proverbs 20:16 NKJV
There are many warnings in the Bible about becoming surety for another. To pledge surety for another means to take responsibility for their debts in case they don’t pay, it’s a guarantee to the lender that the debt will be covered. Twice I’ve done this in my life, and both times I ended up having to pay for another’s debt. What I didn’t realize at the time is this: if a person needs another to co-sign on a debt, it’s because they are foolish with their finances and possessions and have shown themselves to be unreliable.
Those who are wise stewards of their possessions will never have need of another to sign on their behalf, because they have shown themselves to be wise with what they have. Proverbs 20:16 says that you may as well take the surety from the start, because it’s as good as gone if you sign for another. How much more foolish is it to sign for a stranger who you don’t even know?
Both times in my life when I co-signed for another, they were close friends of mine and I believed they were trustworthy. Wisdom says to avoid pledging yourself on behalf of another, because a wise person needs no one else to guarantee their performance. Who are you in this scenario? Are you the wise person who avoids pledging surety for another? Are you the fool who guarantees another’s debt? Or are you the unwise steward in need of surety? Seek to be the good steward, examine yourself and ask God to show you your faults. The unwise steward doesn’t need surety, they need a change of lifestyle!
For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away.
Matthew 25:29 AMP