The Best Advice
8. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
9. for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
10. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
11.If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12. 0like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13. we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14. throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
15. my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths,
16. for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
17. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,
18. but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.
19. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
Proverbs 1:8-19 ESV
News flash: Teenagers roll their eyes. As they start to find their identity, one of the things teenagers need to do is begin to take control of their lives. To a certain point in a child’s life, parents make the rules and set the agenda. For the teenager there comes a time to begin to take the reins. We hope by that point they have acquired some wisdom.
Solomon writes in Prov. 1:7 that there are two ways in life: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Then he turns directly to this: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov. 1:8). The alternative he fears is that his son will be led astray by ‘sinful men,’ who would promise him the world. They would entice him with ill-gotten gain. They would tempt him with wealth; their words reflect this: “We will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder.”
The ways of the wise and unwise advice are divided. It matters which advice you listen to. One will lead uphill and the other downhill. To use Jesus’ terminology, one will take you on the narrow road that leads to life, and the other on the broad road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14).
Who do you listen to? Whose advice do you take? As we get older, we learn that our parents are often wiser than we thought. They, of course, are not the only source of wisdom; there are others. Do you have a mentor; or if you are more mature, are you a mentor to someone else? God puts us in churches so that we have that kind of resource. If you don’t have someone you can go to for good advice, ask God to give you a mentor and keep your eyes open for the answer to your prayer. If you are a parent, are you guiding your children with God-given wisdom, and do you show your own parents proper respect and appreciation?
Prayer: Lord, please give me a mentor who can guide me in a biblical way, who can give me sound spiritual wisdom; or if there is a younger person I can help in that way, lead me in that. Let me serve in my own family in this way. Let me always be a wise influence.
Source: YouVersion Bible, Wisdom for Right Living • Devotional
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