Seeking good instruction, practicing trust in God, valuing discernment, are all healthy choices – decisions that lead to blessings and to living a blessed life. There is another way for us to choose but it is the path of folly (recklessness, senselessness, stupidity) and in the end there will be punishment. Fools go down that road. Sometimes we need to see the opposite to realize that going God’s way really is best. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools. God does not preprogram us; we get to choose. It is good to know not only what the choices are but also the consequences of those choices. Wisdom is a good teacher and the diligent student will often have an overflow of blessings.
As a new driver I made a lot of mistakes and our family car showed it with several dents and scratches. But I have never been more scared than on a Thursday night in 1982 when my friend and I were driving home from volunteering at Saginaw General Hospital. Midway across a large bridge we realized that I was driving the wrong way, against traffic. Although I had received a lot of driving instruction, I still needed more opportunities for practical application, and thanks be to God, He spared us that night from a serious accident. Experience is a very good teacher and in the more than thirty years of driving since then, I have not made that mistake again. I was an immature driver, but that night I grew up and matured real fast. In other non-driving areas of my life, I’ve learned from the same types of middle-of-the-bridge experiences. Jesus wants us to learn from our errors, not to relive them over and over. He offers us a way to go forward through God’s mercy. Let’s be wise to trust God’s ways.