Remaining Focused

Some years ago two Christian friends told me that they never missed an episode of “Desperate Housewives.” Surprising. Now I have never seen an episode of Desperate Housewives (though I am a fan of Ally McBeal), but I know that the series is full of affairs and fractured relationships. Whatever deeper yearning the various characters male and female are desperate to fulfil, they are not going about it through prayer and reflection on God’s provision in Christ!

Our readings this week, Proverbs 4:1 to 7:27, warn all of us to avoid such ungodly and immoral behaviour, and point us to the better way called wisdom.

Listen, my children, says our writer, to a father’s instruction (4:1). This will have many benefits. This father is clearly a wise man. But what he seeks to impart is not just the fruit of human experience. The true source of wisdom is God Himself (2:6). Our priority must be to gain this God-imparted wisdom at any cost (4:7).

Illicit relationships can be tempting, but they are not God’s plan for our lives. They cannot lead to true contentment. God’s ways do restrict our “freedom” at times but His will is only for our good. It is really important to hold on to Jesus (as He holds on to us), celebrate whatever state of life we may be in and be thankful. Brothers and sisters, let us not envy the “freedom” of unbelievers to sin, but rather remain focused on God and His wisdom, and commend Christ to those around us.

Like the “slow food” movement God’s way of wisdom rewards a patient approach. There will be ups and downs along the way, but we have a steadfast companion. His loving presence will be with us as we look “straight ahead” through life (4:25).

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