Posted By Nan

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” NIV
These verses conclude the teaching on the importance of the words of the father. Of course, these do not refer to the earthly father and should not be used to justify a child following the unreasonable instructions of an earthly father. These words are the words of God, our heavenly father and Jesus is the one we should keep our gaze fixed firmly on as we step out in life.
You are to keep a guard on our heart with all vigilance, put any false and dishonest and wilful and contrary talk aside, not rush in but think before acting and choose not to do what is evil.
There is a lot of debate and confusion in Christian communities about how to live that way. And people can be given incorrect information on how to live that way. Remember, this is about living a life of Godly wisdom, not human thoughts and desires.
So what does that look like in our lives?
To live according to these verses is to be careful who we love and are loyal to. We are to love Jesus not earthly possessions, because we can only serve one master (Matthew 6:24). We are to not use false and dishonest speech or use wilful or contrary talk. In The Message it is described as not talking out of the side of your mouth, no carless banter, white lies or gossip. That is pretty clear. We are also not to rush in, but instead to think before taking action. In other words, respond, don’t react! Sometimes that is hard to do. Hurts in our past cause us to derail the thinking processes in some situations. In that case seek God’s help. If He directs you to counselling, then go, once you have asked Him to direct you to the right person for you to see. Expect the unexpected. He will often direct you to the most unlikely person. We are also to make a choice to not do what is evil. We must never forget this is about choice and what we choose to do.
These verses are beautifully summarised in Hebrews 12:1-3:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” NIV

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