Proverbs 20:16

Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.

Protect your risk. When even someone you know vouches for a stranger, it is appropriate to ask for some token of assurance that your loan will be protected. This protects not only you, but impresses upon the securer the seriousness of what he is doing. Perhaps he is being too quick or feeling pressured to co-sign for the stranger. Perhaps he needs to back out of the transaction and your requirement allows for him to do so. The point is that we are not to be hasty in putting ourselves or our friends in situations that incur such a risk that leads to heartache and conflict if the third party does not come through.

Always count the cost whenever you take a risk. If you are willing to loan money, count the cost of not getting it back. If you cannot handle the loss, then don’t take the risk. Don’t make any loan that you are not willing to lose; especially do not involve a friend in such a risk.

Now consider the investment that God the Father has made in us. He invested in our salvation with the intention that we would be made holy. Does it not seem to be a bad risk? It would have been had it not been for the one who gave up his garment of righteousness as a surety for us. For now we are counted as righteous with his garment. And more, Christ has given us the Holy Spirit as a seal for our salvation until that day we are fully sanctified and God’s investment is realized.

The Father and the Son could take that risk not because they trusted in us, but in each other. They knew fully the cost and paid the full price before the risk of loss.

© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org