My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, If you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself…
I think that the point is still building on the previous 5 chapters: Need wisdom? Get wisdom. Ask for it, listen for it, it is plainly out there for the getting. Proverbs 6:1-5a is clearly a warning about doing foolish stuff. A wise man sees and knows either to avoid or to secure himself. An unwise man jumps in and “puts God to the test.” (see Num 14:22, Deut 6:16, and Luke 4:12 for a couple of straightforward instructive scriptures)
Looking at verse 2 in particular, have I ever spoken too soon, opened my mouth and stuck my foot in it all the way to my knee? Of course I have. I have over promised, under promised, lent stuff I couldn’t afford to lend, got caught in a lie, got caught pledging to cover someone when I could hardly cover myself, and so much more. It is especially significant at work where I continually overpromise.
I realize that I did much of the above in “faith”, trusting the God would honor my good intentions. Sometimes I did it in knowing sacrifice (which isn’t too bad but still….hard to explain to my wife when it goes south on me). And what about applying this to my work life?
Father, I shake sometimes when I read stuff like this, knowing that I fail often. I haven’t quite mastered the dynamic between timidity and boldness. What that does is make me acknowledge my dependence on You and grab myself by the scruff of my neck and throw myself upon the blazing grace of the Cross. Please help me grow into repudiating, running away from independence and find myself in the strong position of weakness and dependence upon You. As I surrender each point of my life (over and over again), I want to find peace and wisdom in You and only You.