Importune Your Neighbor!
“If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth, Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.” (Proverbs 6:2–3, NASB95)
Who among us has never been snared with our own words! We seem to all have a tendency toward "foot in mouth" disease. Because of this, Solomon's parental counsel is appropriate for each of us. When we mess up, says the King, go "deliver yourself."
Solomon's advice is to take the responsibility to get it right. In West Texas, where I lived for many years, we would say that it was time to "eat humble pie" or "eat crow." That is the West Texas way of saying "own it!" And you know the best way to eat crow, don't you? Feet, feathers, fanny and all! Eating crow, or humble pie, is Texan parlance for importuning your neighbor.
The word "importune" means to "harass with persistent requests." In fact, the Latin word was often used of prostitutes. Solomon says that when we have messed up with our mouth, we ought to throw ourselves on the mercy of our neighbor, whom we've offended. Better to swallow our pride than to continue with the broken relationship and potential for further harm.
Have you been caught with the words of your mouth? If so…I know what's for dinner!
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
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