Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. Proverbs 4:10-15
This past week, my wife and I agreed to make a pretty big financial decision. So much so, that one day we were figuratively looking under rocks (checking bank accounts and other resources) to see if we had enough money, or needed a loan to make a purchase. We seemed to have enough, and moved forward with what we thought was the right decision. After jumping through the next several hoops, we were a ways along when we got some new information and were second guessing out decision. To make a long story short, we did not end up making this large purchase, but through the rollecoaster process, ended up losing several hundred dollars, which in the end was better than spending multiple thousand dollars on something we did not want on the long run. If we had known a week ago what we know now, we may have made some different choices, but I suppose after years of education, experiences, and even guidance by others, we still make some mistakes from time to time. What are some mistakes you made this past few weeks that may help guide your future decision making?
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
In raising kids, some days it seems like we are saying the same 5 things a hundred different times to the same people that don’t seem to be listening. Some days I literally do same the same thing to the same kid over a dozen times. Something doesn’t seem to be working, though. Either they don’t seem to be understanding what I am saying, they don’t care, they are not learning very well from their mistakes, or all of the above. I am literally saying the same thing at the dinner table, “eat it or leave it alone”, as I was 3 years ago. These and other things are still stated at least on a weekly basis to someone who should know better. One starts to wonder if what we are saying is being taken in vain, or if these little people will ever grow up to have a good sense of their own. You hope, and pray, and try to do everything within your power to make it so, but then again everything isn’t within our control, no matter how much we try.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Do you think God ever wonders if his own Children will ever learn to do what He says, to avoid pitfalls and to learn from the consequences of our previous mistakes? He gives good advice to us all through His Word. In fact, if we just read Proverbs, we would have a pretty good sense of the things we should and should not do on a daily basis to help guide our steps. Its probably a good idea to revisit from time to time if we need some reminders. But we have so much more than that. We have hundreds of examples in Scripture, decades of experience in the lives our those that attend our churches and who may be willing to share their wisdom if we just ask. There are hundreds of books and lectures and online videos and blogs we can read to give us some sense of the right things to do in live, but still we will make mistakes, some more obvious than others. So, as we go, as we learn, as we grow, we should know the best routes to take in live, but we will still make some missteps from time to time, and that is ok. It keeps us humble, and reminds us we are not perfect, and we are not God. It also draws us to God and His Word, and His people, for counsel in any number of things. We should know fairly quickly how or how not to do some of the basic things, but within the grey areas of parenting, communicating with others, and even how to best spend our time, money, and efforts, we need some help from time to time. Let us walk that way!
Yours in Christ,