I decided to select the following proverb from our next chapter, chapter 12, for my post this week. If I had to select one proverb that rings the truest in my life, this one might be it.
A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26
You could say that I’ve spent the majority of my life as a chameleon. I’ve always wanted to fit in and to be liked, and I believed the best way to accomplish this was to adopt – or at least accept – the morals, beliefs and customs of those I met throughout the years. I started out sure of who I was and what I stood for, a rock, but by the time I’d graduated from high school I was little more than a sponge. The goal of my teachers was to expand my mind, to broaden my horizons, to accept in order that I might be accepted. They were successful in achieving their goal.
In my twenties my husband and I moved multiple times for his military career, meeting people, experiencing cultures and becoming exposed to all sorts of ethics, values, faiths and beliefs from coast to coast. Some influences were positive, but it was mostly the negative ones that I carried with me into my thirties. American values such as attaining the perfect female body, having the latest gadget, accumulating wealth and moving up the social status ladder were more important to me than self-respect and being content with what I have and who I am. Even worse, I’d developed a lukewarm opinion about religion; I was neither for nor against any sort of faith, believing that no one way to Heaven – if there was such a place – was the right or wrong way. I’d been led astray.
Further and further I fell into the wishywashyness of Greydom until one day I hit rock bottom. It was the first wake-up call of my life, and let me assure you, it was not a pleasant one. My father in Heaven, who had never left me but whom I’d left to the far corners of my mind and heart, had had enough. I got the whooping of a lifetime and lecture that I’ll never forget. In this lesson from Father to daughter, I learned not to follow the crowd and to stand for what I believe in, and by living according to these Godly standards, I learned who I am: God’s child.
By having a standard that cannot by shaken, it is easier for me to determine right from wrong and friend from foe. I can clearly see the path I should take, the words I should say and the deeds I must do, and when I need help accomplishing any of these, I know exactly who to ask for help. That person, my friend, is our Lord, Jesus Christ. His advice will never be wrong, and if you are a child of God, He will always be available for guidance.
You too can ask Him to grant you a vigilant heart and a prudent soul. He will deliver you from the ways of the wicked and lay before you a straight and narrow path, one that leads to the gates of Heaven.