My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net.
Don’t get caught in a bad contract.
We’re advised to free ourselves from obligations that we have made without serious thought and consideration. The language is meant to be alarming. You can almost hear the raised voice and clapped hands when you read it. He is saying, “Don’t get caught in a bad contract!”
Famed money coach, Dave Ramsey, calls this “gazelle intensity.” The visualization is that of a gazelle bursting off it’s hooves and into an escape at full speed. Gazelles can run up to 60 miles per hour and maintain a speed of 30 miles per hour for an extended amount of time.
The point here is don’t enter into contracts or obligations that you can’t control. It’s good advice.
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