Guidelines for wise living (Part 3)

Straight from my heart

Proverbs 4

INFLUENCE of godly people- Here’s another clear and present crisis; while many are religious, few are truly godly. By godly we mean God-broken, God-desperate, and God-dependent people...actual manifestations of incarnate wisdom...in the skin! Make them your mentor; hang out with them; be discipled by them. Get wisdom first before you go to war! Seek that godly influence, and learn to be that godly influence.

2. Get rid of wickedness (vv.14-22)

It is expected that we walk in wisdom... the path opposite to wickedness. Verses 14-22 are down-to-earth timely and much-needed guidelines for wise living—dissect this into bite sized bits:

* “Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evil doers”—Weakness is a flaw of judgment, a reality of being human. Wickedness is a lifestyle of deliberate enjoyment in doing that which is evil (vv16-20). Are we weak? Yes. Are we wicked? It is only the grace of God by faith in Christ that makes us righteous before God. The assumption here is that if you have an authentic relationship with God, “the fear of the Lord”, you are on your way out of the wicked lifestyle! By the way, getting rid of the wicked includes detaching yourself from abusive religion and religious leaders.

* “Don’t even think of it; and don’t go that way”— it all begins in our minds...if you can think about it, you can actually do it. Getting rid of the wicked starts in our thought life, both Paul and Jesus emphasized this. Take a look at adultery...before the act, it started with a thought. Paul reminded the believers in Rome to renew their minds (Romans 12:1-2). Wisdom equips us to detect, decide and detach from a wicked path, wicked people (both good and bad), wicked relationships, wicked religion.

* “Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart” —the father here realized the powerlessness parents need to transform children. It is an earnest plea from a parent to a child to take seriously the warnings and ways of wisdom. He uses the word “heart” to convey that this is not merely an intellectual exercise...this is a sacred relationship with the Lord. Before your feet stays away from the wicked path, be sure that your heart is no longer there. Remember Lot’s wife, while her feet were walking away from Sodom and Gomorrah, her heart remained in Sodom and Gomorrah...no wonder she looked back.


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