How much help should we give to others – friends, family, strangers, the poor?
Jesus teaches us that we should give to the poor (Matt 6:3), and even be willing to give the shirt off our back (Matt 5:40). These Proverbs remind us, though, that we need to be wise about how we give our money (and Jesus was wise with money, too, of course). Prov 6.1-5 drive home the point that it is not wise to be bound to the debt of others. There is huge wisdom in that. If someone got in bad debt, there is a good chance they are not good with finances – and now you are tied to THEIR choices. This does not mean we can’t help people, only that we need to be wise about how we help. We need to guard our lives and finances. We need to make sure that our helping others is not enabling them to not learn hard lessons from life, or preventing them from changing some foolish decisions that are hurting them. The words of Jesus and Proverbs go together – we always do what it takes to help others, even if that means we don’t give them money. Our goal is to work with God to change lives – that is Kingdom work.