Proverbs 4

My Heavenly Father blessed me with a great earthly father. My Dad is wise and godly, and his advice is one of the major ways God has guided my life. As my own sons have grown up I have tried to pass that wisdom on to them. Maybe God will someday bless my sons with sons — then they can continue the tradition of father-son talks that shape the lives of boys. In Proverbs chapter 4 we find a father-son talk for the ages.

As King Solomon called his sons close in order to teach them some life lessons, he began with the words of his father, King David (v.4-9). The gist of the advice he wanted to pass along to a new generation was simply this: if you want to succeed in all the ways that truly matter, get wisdom and insight (v.5, 7). Wisdom is a world-view that says, “Here is what I know about God, and this is how I apply what I know about God to the details of my life.” Insight (also translated “understanding”) means looking at every situation, opportunity, and person in your life through the filter of godly wisdom, and consequently seeing people and things from God’s perspective. Solomon told his children what his father had told him: gaining wisdom and insight (the source of which is God) should be the principal pursuit of your life.

In the remainder of this chapter, Solomon reveals how that pursuit is a daily process of choosing between two paths, the way of wisdom (v.11) and the way of the wicked (v.19). We should see every moment in life as a fork in the road, a choice to walk in the light of God’s presence, living by His guidelines and for His glory — or to stumble in the darkness of human wisdom, which is infected with sin and consequently always leads to destruction (v.18-19).

The Bible says to “ponder the path of your feet” (v.26). Every step you take today is important: the way you react to that insensitive comment, the words you say and the things you leave unsaid, how you schedule your day, the quality of your work, where you allow your mind to wander in your down time. These are the little decisions that determine your destiny; these are the building blocks of your integrity. Choose carefully. Seek the Lord and walk wisely today.

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