Counsel of Chalcedon
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Suretyship: Avoiding Its Pitfalls

Charity has its limits! Benevolence at the expense of a man's own family ceases to be benevolence. It becomes malevolence. I remember as a teenager that my father was very generous to one of my friends. My friend was very poor. His family did not own an automobile, but yet in order to obtain employment he needed to learn how to drive (this was in the days before driver education courses and driver training schools). My father let him use our only family car to learn how to drive, assuming the risk that comes with a novice behind the wheel. My friend eventually obtained his driver's license and we were all happy for him. Shortly thereafter my friend approached my father and asked if he could use our car for a date he had planned with his girlfriend. My father gave him a firm answer of "No". I was surprised that my friend could be so presumptuous in considering such a request. I learned early in life by my father's actions that charity indeed has its limits.