Shoes are an important part of our lives. Everyday you put on your shoes to get ready to go and they just go along with you. What choice do they have, after all they were designed for our comfort. That being said, shoes tell a story. How many states have your shoes been in? How many different homes or shopping centers or schools? How many different events, parties or ceremonies? What countries have those shoes been in? How much good has that shoe been a part of and how much bad? What types of conversations, music or movies have those shoes been around? Shoes do not make decisions for you, they just go where you take them. As you ponder these things, it should make you consider what your life is about? In what direction are you headed? What specifically does the direction of godly wisdom look like?
The Fear of the Lord
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7
What does it mean to fear the Lord? Does it mean that I dread being with God? No, but it means that I have a relationship of reverence. That means to have a respect for God. After all, He is God. He spoke and “bam” happened. To fear the Lord is to obey His commands. It is an understanding that, “hey, I am not God and therefore I don’t know it all. I should perhaps should listen to the one who is God to figure out what to base my life on.”
So many people will base their entire life on what other people think of them. True understanding of who I am, or who you are, comes from the one who made you, not from other people.
How you view God will have an impact on how you live. To fear the Lord is to realize that you are made for Him and your life is about His glory, not your own.
Willingness to take instruction
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9
Why do we need instruction? Because we don’t know everything. There are books on virtually every topic because you and I don’t know everything. Of course, you can’t just take advice from everyone because there are some people who are not very wise. If someone tells you that you need to take drugs to experience them, that is not wise advice. But, people who live honorable, godly lives, will provide some very sound, real life advice.
Ability to Ignore Peer Pressure
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them. – Proverbs 1:10
my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths; – Proverbs 1:15
For whatever reason, people who are up to no good want company to do those things. So, they will entice you to come. I know most people have seen the video of the bus monitor being tormented by a group of kids. I watched the video and was amazed at the group dynamic at work there. These kids are just feeding off of each other. They needed someone to jump in and stop it, but no one wanted to be that person. To entice is to tempt with hope for reward. If I do this, then I will be cool, or will have friends, or she will like me. We call this peer pressure today, which is a powerful force.
I work with teenagers and I see this pressure to conform all the time. There is pressure to buy certain clothes, have popular electronics, have a girlfriend or boyfriend or fit in some group. All of these forces steer people all over the place. If, instead, they believe that God has a better way, then they are able to stay away from it. That path of foolishness leads no where you want to go and Godly wisdom tells you that. So, stay away from it.
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm. – Proverbs 1:32
Ultimately you chose to ignore God’s wisdom and then you also chose to accept the consequence of that action. Don’t blame God for it.
When I talk with teenagers I often ask them about the direction of their life. We are always moving in a direction. The question is whether the direction we are headed is where we want to be headed. But, when we stay in the Word of God and understand what is true, we are then able to make wise moves. This brings benefits and safety. It keeps people away from guilt and certainly provides blessing.