Athlete, Escape Traps
Proverbs 6:1-5 (NIV)
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion— and give your neighbor no rest! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
My son, IF you have:
- put up security for your neighbor,
- struck hands in pledge for another,
- been trapped by what you said and snared by the words of your mouth,
THEN DO THIS, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
- GO and HUMBLE yourself.
- PRESS your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
- FREE yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:1-5)
In playing basketball, facing traps is inevitable and unavoidable. It’s part of the game. And good players learn how to negotiate those traps. (I love teaching this part of the game!)
Traps are also a part of life. And learning how to get out of them is crucial. If we don’t, costly turnovers await.
Today’s Scripture offers some great pointers on how to face traps and survive. Let’s take a look.
First, three traps in life are mentioned:
- FINANCIAL: Co-signing on someone else’s loan, inside or outside your family, is dangerous. If they get trapped, you do too. Be careful. The risk is high.
- CONTRACTUAL: It’s hard to escape deals once they’re made, especially with the wrong people. Extortion entraps. Be careful what you sign up for.
- COMMUNICATION: Sometimes we can get badly pinned to our words. What we say can backfire, ensnare, be misunderstood, misinterpreted. Words can even land you in jail.
Be careful with what you say and even how you say it.
When traps like these come our way, here are action steps life’s best Coach instructs us to take:
- GO HUMBLE: Admit you’re in trouble … to self, God and others. Bring humility to the trap. Humble gets you out, not pride.
Make humility your instinctive first move. Escape starts here. Surrender begins the release.
- BRING URGENCY. “Press your plea with your neighbor.” Entertain no rest ‘til it’s done. You can’t afford a shot clock violation when trapped.
Delay becomes a turnover. Do it now! Rest later. Reward follows the urgent stride.
- GET FREE. In basketball, second passes made out of traps most often lead to buckets. So don’t stop short of scores, of full release.
Make full effort for full freedom. That’s the endgame. Fight for it.
Reflect: Feeling trapped by money, deals, words? (Need escape from other big traps like anxiety, besetting sin, guilt, shame?) How good are you at admitting that you’re in trouble?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me how to handle life’s traps. You really care about me. Help me by Your Spirit to bring humility, show urgency, and fight for freedom when traps come my way.
I really need You and am so glad for Your presence in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.