Get Yourself Free

Get yourself free like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from the hand of a fowler.
-Proverbs 6:5

As Christians we are set free to live in freedom.  "It is for freedom that he has set us free".  Jesus paid the price and now we have to live the life... with God's help and the help of others.

We don't save our selves but we steward the salvation God has given us.  Viktor Frankl, who survived a concentration camp, during World War Two, said that freedom is the choice we make after something happens to us.  He set us free so that we would be free to make good choices with how we live, talk, and think.

When something negative happens, like a disappointment or an offense or a loss; we get to choose, will we go negative and grouse, murmur, pout, wine, and grumble?  Or will we exercise faith and focus on God, what can be, and find the silver lining in the dark cloud, or make lemonade out of the sour situation?  Freedom gives us that choice every day.

When we are in a negative situation, we can look for the provision of God. When we find God's provision, we appropriate it and stay free.  God promises, for example, to comfort the brokenhearted, never leave us or forsake us, and cause all things to work together for good.

There are a thousand reasons to go negative every day, "but  God", trumps them all.  Temptations to sin come our way and we may open the door or fully go forward with that sin.  It is never too late to turn away from it and get yourself free.  "First John one nine it", or "admit it and quit it."  Ask for deliverance, if something has got a hook in you.  Get yourself free.

I realize that the context of Proverbs 6:5 is cosigning loans, too casually.  My understanding is that generosity and compassion towards people in need, who are not in your immediate family, is part of the counsel of God.  "Love your neighbor as yourself", the example being the story of the good Samaritan.

At some point, in ancient Israel, borrowing and lending money go out of control, meaning that people began asking for loans that they might not be able to pay back or began taking loans, and perhaps from peoples outside of Israel, who did not worship God.  Then, there were also loans with an interest rate attached, which the Bible calls usury.  The longer the loan stayed unpaid, the more it grew.  The Bible counsels against the practice of usury.

So, the immediate context of Proverbs 6:5, is to get yourself free from a foolish pledge you make, even with the shake of hands, to help someone, to put your finances on the line with someone who may not be able or willing to follow through and pay off the obligation.

The picture is of you giving a gambler your money, that he or she says they will pay back, because in their addiction or delusion, they actually believe it.  They are your neighbor or your friend.  They are charming, neighborly and friendly; but they have a problem that lurks beneath the surface of their life.  We all have hidden problems, hidden sins.

Your friend or neighbor gets into your favor or good graces.  It is a human, God given, inclination to help someone.  The person does not just ask for 10 dollars, they don't just ask to borrow hundreds; but they ask you to co-sign their loan.  This is the picture in Proverbs 6.

It is also interesting, that after the author of Proverbs vigorously enjoins the one who made the foolish agreement to get out of it, whatever it takes, even begging their friend or neighbor; he says to take a look at the hard working ant, who gets ahead and stores up for hard times.  Then, in contrast, the author rebukes lazy people.

So, one could easily surmise that the message of Proverbs 6 is that lazy people are enticed by loaned money, rather than industriously earning it.  The kind person, who is walking with God in a life of generosity and compassion towards others, can be taken advantage of by people who are not choosing God's path, but are going for short cuts in their lives; which is reflected in their finances.

If you found out that the money that you gave someone was being spent on gambling, or something else immoral or illegal, would you keep giving money to them?  A long time ago, I learned to try to, "meet the need", of the person asking for help.  Give them food if they say they need food or fill their gas tank if they say they need gas.

So, Proverbs 6 is saying to get out of those agreements or relationships you got into where you are cosigning or being surety for someone else.  Get out of the unequal yoke business relationship.  People talk about the unequal yoke as being married to a non-believer, but it is really about not being in a business relationship with an non-believer.

But, I believe that the phrase, "get yourself free", is a powerful one that applies to the believer fleeing from sin.  Remember, that we stand against the devil and demons and their attacks (James 4:7), but we flee from sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:18), and we put to death sensual sins, including greed (Col. 3:5).

Get yourself free from foolish relationships where you have agreed to help someone who is not in a covenant relationship with God or with you, and who is not family either legally, by blood, or through loving trust.  Let go of obligations to people who have not earned your trust and who's obligations entrusted to you could endanger those you are obligated to, in covenant with, and love.