Letting your newly-licensed teenage son drive away for the first time is not easy. Thinking of him driving yesterday during thunderstorms was particularly unnerving. I texted him before he left school with explicit instructions, trying not to sound like I was freaking out, but I was. I reminded him how slick the roads would be, to avoid standing water and reduce his speed.
My son learned those skills in his driver’s education class and we reminded him from the passenger seat for a year as he drove with his learner’s permit. Yet, it was with a lot of urgency that I sent that text. He’s my son and I wanted him to be focused, alert, and careful because I know the possible outcome if he is not.
It’s with a similar urgency that Solomon wrote these words of wisdom that seem to shout at us from the pages of Proverbs as if we are new drivers like my teenager heading out into a storm They’re words a father would speak to a son who is setting out on his own for the first time.
Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:21-27 (The Message)
As a parent, I have tried to speak wisdom into my children’s hearts and minds. Often, they doubt my sage advice and have to learn the hard way- through mistakes. I’ve been there before; thought I knew what was best, only to find myself navigating my way out of a mess or limping with the pain of my choices. As you read these words from Proverbs, think about your life today.
- Are you really living? Is your soul and body bursting with health?
- Do you guard your heart from unhealthy messages and unhealthy relationships?
- Are you spending your time talking negatively about others or yourself?
- Are you distracted by the sideshow of this world instead of being focused on God’s purpose for you?
- Is the path of your life rocky and hard?
This world is broken and God has not promised us an easy path, but he has invited us into his rest and abundant life. Entering into that life he has for us is really up to us; he has given the invitation and opened the door. It’s all about our choices. Wisdom is of God, and choosing him and his ways is where real living begins. Each wise choice brings us closer to our Creator.
Wisdom is knowledge of God’s ways put into action. It’s one thing to know what’s good and right. It’s another thing to do it. Wisdom paves a better path for life, shapes healthier relationships, and even grows stronger bodies. If we choose it.
Before we speak, post, listen, work, react, and plan, we can come to God for the knowledge of his ways. Then we can choose a life of wisdom. It’s probably not going to look like the wisdom of the world around us, but I believe we can trust God’s ways. He is good.
In what area of life do you need God’s wisdom today? Read his Word and seek his truths. Understanding the wisdom of God is not usually hard. It’s the choosing; obedience is the struggle.
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. ” Proverbs 4:22