A human being lives, but he is given life.
New King James Version (NKJV)
1 My son, if you become surety for your friend,
If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2 You are snared by the words of your mouth;
You are taken by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my son, and deliver yourself;
For you have come into the hand of your friend:
Go and humble yourself;
Plead with your friend.
4 Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids.
5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Thought of the Day
“Many Christians do nothing, but no Christian has nothing to do”
Elephant seals spend most of their lives sleeping. Science News magazine reports, “Male elephant seals measure 16 feet from trunk-like nose to flipper, and they weigh about 3 tons. Occasionally, a seal will use a front flipper—incredibly tiny for such a massive creature—to scratch itself or flip sun-shielding sand on its body.” Otherwise these huge animals are basically motionless.
The article goes on to state that because they don’t eat while on land during the breeding season, they sleep most of the time. Besides scratching, dirt-flipping, or rolling over, these ponderous animals seldom move.
By contrast, the little ant seems tireless as it goes about its industrious work of storing up food for the colony. The writer of Proverbs commends the diligence of the ant, citing her active ways as a model for people who would live wisely.
There’s a spiritual lesson here. Christians who pattern their service after the ant get things done for the Lord. But others, like the elephant seal, scarcely move. They seem to be barely alive spiritually, as if they are conserving their energy for some huge effort later on. But the time to get busy for Christ is now, even though our talents may seem insignificant.
Imitate the ant, not the elephant seal.—David C. Egner Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Lord Christ, we humbly ask
Of Thee the power and will
With fear and meekness every task
Of duty to fulfill. —Montgomery
Personal Reflection and Discussion
I remember the first time I read this chpt. I was surprised Solomon was teaching we should go back on our promises. I figured we should help others even to the point where it hurts. I did have the mat approach to being a good chrisitian. It’s hard to say no, but sometimes we can’t and shouldn’t help. I’m sure Solomon’s son had means to help his friend, but it wasn’t wise to. Just because we can doesn’t always mean we should. Does our friend really need to buy a new…whatever…especially if he doesn’t have good enough credit on his own. Sometimes they learn best from the consequences. And we could all use self scarifices every once in awhile. Makes me think of the story where the man made a promise to scarifice the first thing that comes across him when he returned from the battle as thanksgiving to God for the deliverance. His daughter came to him first and he felt he had to keep that promise and scarificed her. So sad and stupid…God never asked that of him and God surely didn’t want him to make such stupid promises…we need to know if we do make a dumb promise we could get out of it.
It makes you think, how often do I say things like that, and then realize what the outcome is later. We need a wiser approach to our answers sometimes.
My study book talks about not making promises you can’t keep, don’t make promises you shouldn’t make and don’t cosign for a loan. In Solomons day a co signer who could not pay could lose everything and be reduced to slavery. How is that for trying to help someone. My mom tried to help my brother several years ago and co signed for a car with him. Not six months later he let the car go and we are continually harrassed by these people. Every day, and many times a day. They are rude and hateful and I wish Mom hadn’t done it. My brother is not a dependable person and now she is paying the price. This could also apply to trying to help people who don’t really want help but know how to get people to feel sorry for them. I know a girl who has never worked a day in her life. She lives off of making people feel bad for her. So yes, it is nice to help people when you can but as Soloman says we must be careful and not ruin our lives to help someone else.
I know that the girl thinks she is doing ok, but just as (Pr. 6:11) says there will be a time that poverty will arrive.