Think Before You Commit

Proverbs 6:1-5. My son, if thou art become surety for thy neighbor, If thou hast stricken thy hands for a stranger; Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, Thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, Seeing thou art come into the hand of thy neighbor: Go, humble thyself, and importune thy neighbor; Give not sleep to thine eyes, Nor slumber to thine eyelids; Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, And as a bird from the hand of the fowler. Have you ever given your word to someone only to realize after having done so you are caught in a snare, a snare that is not of their making or your making? The circumstances in life are such that you realize you can’t give attention to what you said you would and could do. What to do? The section of this proverb is self-explanatory, nothing I write can make it clearer. The word “importune” is rendered “stir up” (LXX, Brenton’s translation), “plead urgently” (ESV), “urge thy neighbor” (JPS), and “appeal firmly” (NET). We can’t always know how circumstances will play out, but we can know whether we can absorb the loss if the circumstances are not suitable to us.