I have a friend who wanted to get out of his job that took him weeks at a time away from his family. He decided to try his hand at owning a bar/restaurant with a friend of his. He put up the money to remodel the restaurant as well as putting up many hours of blood, sweat and tears to get it up and running. Unfortunately he didn’t realize that his friend was not a good communicator when conflict surfaced. My friend tried to talk with his partner, but the partner wouldn’t answer any calls nor emails, nor texts. He realized that he had made an agreement with someone that was not honest nor wanting to work out any issues regarding the restaurant. Rather than try to work it out with his ex-friend, he walked away with losing over $200,000. He learned a very difficult lesson.
Solomon speaks to this issue when he says, “My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger, you have been snared by the words of your mouth trapped by the words from your mouth. Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor’s power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor. Don’t give sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids. Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a hunter’s trap.” Proverbs 6:1-5 CSB
We need to be careful when we think of entering into an agreement or contract with anyone. When we realize after the fact that we should have never entered into an agreement with this person, we need to take the necessary steps of going to the person and seeking to remove ourselves from the agreement. Solomon refers to this as placing ourselves in that person’s power. Some of the closest friends have been torn apart by an agreement or decision that went bad. Wisdom says to do whatever you need to do to get out of the snare that your words have placed you in. Humble yourself. Plead with your neighbor to get out of the contract or agreement.
On this journey, there will be all kinds of traps. Caution in entering into any agreement or contract is the first step before proceeding down the road with anyone.