“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.”
Moving from marriage to business advice, we see here in early chapter six some warnings about locking yourself into a fixed agreement.
I believe this is an argument against becoming a guarantor for your friend’s business. A guarantor is someone to fall back on when the business falls through, and Solomon says don’t let it be you who takes the load! Often the owner of a business is the guarantor (or surety), or sometimes shares that responsibility with their partner in the company. It’s clear that Solomon thinks that since it’s not your business, but a friend’s, and it’s your money and livelihood on the line, not his, you must not be party to such an agreement. In the same way, a stranger’s pledge is just as dangerous. People are far more likely to care for their ventures if it’s their own money on the line. Save your money for your own safer ventures.
It’s also your own big mouth that brings this about. Your promises and handshakes may seem light-hearted to you, but are definite signs of agreement to others.
You have committed great folly and need rescuing from your agreement. Your friend or acquaintance has that ability to rescue you. Even if he is a friend, you will be fully responsible if his business venture collapses. That would surely break your friendship, anyway!
Humble yourself and go to him. Far better straight after to think again and try to break the agreement now, then when he is asking you to pay up.
Hurry and get to it. You are on borrowed time. Act as if the hand will close upon you and the arrow will strike your heart. Beg for mercy and you may be saved. Amen.
Pondering: Is it strange to get advice like this from the Bible? Is it wisdom worth considering? Why or why not? Scripture taken from http://www.biblestudytools.com.