This week’s WPW comes from Proverbs chapter six, verses 1-5 –
1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2 you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion—[a]
and give your neighbor no rest!
4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the Fowler.
So what’s going on here? I think on the surface, this section can come across like some “get out of jail free card” to be quoted and used to shirk our responsibilities we’ve committed to with others. It’s not.
This is a wonderfully gracious passage from the Lord teaching us how to handle a situation where we have rashly spoken and committed to something we later realize we are not able to fulfill. These things are not to be taken lightly. We are not to quickly and thoughtlessly enter into covenant with someone without seriously counting the costs before hand. How kind of the Lord to give us instruction in this area of life where there can be much opportunity for great relational fallout if things are not handled well.
We ought to watch our tongues, consider our ways and proceed cautiously in all personal and business agreements and arrangements. But, in the event that we have promised what we cannot deliver, the Word encourages us to go, plead with and beg our friends and family to forgive us and relieve us of our commitment.