15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.
16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
Finances, Kindness and Cruelty
People who lend their money to foolish people will lose that money. That sounds obvious, but it is difficult when that person is a friend or a family member. What if they feel that they have never been given a chance? What if they feel like you are the favourite and that they have never been given anything? These feelings can be based in reality, or sometimes they can be the heartache of an unhealthy psyche. When a friend asks for money, or a family needs money as collateral, we need to think. We need to avoid lending money without security. We need to weight whether we are making wise or foolish investments.
Doesn’t that sound unkind? We are not prohibited here from giving money away if we can afford it. We are warned against making foolish investments. Of course, only a fool invests money in the completely unknown and expects any kind of return. However, a kind person can take care of another’s needs without expecting a reward. The irony is that those who are kind because they love God often receive a reward. Those who live upright lives for God in a free society, often earn respect and reward from those around them. Often, those who try and defraud others end up exposed and in jail. They end up hated and alone. It is wise to be kind.
- Who is safe?
- Who do the kind benefit?
- How could someone misreading these instructions be ‘kind’ to be selfish?
- How does being kind benefit people today?
- How do people today earn deceptive wages?