No one is born with a head full of wisdom. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of every child (Proverbs 22:15). Every one of us has those occasions in which we have acted impulsively and immaturely. The resulting folly and sin are not our finest moments.
Solomon’s counsel is hard to misunderstand. His exact words are, “My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. 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. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter and like a bird from the hand of the fowler” (Proverbs 6:1-5).
Note the specific counsel he gives:
- Be pro-active. You personally and directly address your folly immediately.
- Be humble. Nothing you did would make your momma proud, so humble yourself and own up to your foolish actions and/or words.
- Be sincere. Genuinely mean what you say and make sure the recipient of your folly knows that you know you did something foolish.
- Be prompt. This is something that needs to be done, as my late mother would say, “immediately, if not sooner.”
- Be single-minded. A deer and a bird in a life-or-death situation, seeking to evade a hunter’s deadly presence, has a laser like focus on only one thing—staying alive.
An impulsive man who pro-actively, humbly, sincerely, promptly, and single-mindedly addresses his folly has take a huge first step toward the path of wisdom.