Not Such Easy Choices
Loving Lord God, grant me the profound inner peace that results from trusting You completely. I bless Your name.
Read PROVERBS 24:1-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The larger question for us is not, ‘Will you cross the finish line’? Rather, ‘Whose hand will you be holding as you cross the finish line’?” (Leonard Sweet).
There are many young people in Western countries who are not in employment, education or training. One project I read about attempts to reach out to them. It was initiated by a former banker who funded a trial project called “Grandmentors.” The project explored whether time spent with a sympathetic and wise older person may help these youth find their way in a complex world. The idea emerged from this man’s happy experience with his grandfather, a wise, non-judgmental man who passed on to his grandson the importance of humor, of keeping calm and not jumping to conclusions.
Our text for today is mentoring material! It provides the final section of 30 sayings or instructions that begin at 22:17 and are addressed to “my son” (23:15,26; 24:13,21). These sayings are similar to the material we find in Proverbs 1-9.
This is mentoring we will never grow out of! How do we choose to respond to evil, to the wrongdoing of which we become aware? What does it look like to react wisely to people we perceive to be wicked? Here are many “do not’s” by which to measure our behavior (1,15,17,19,21), but the most demanding mentoring word is a “do,” calling us to moral courage, to act with integrity (10-12). This instruction is unique in Proverbs for urging us to oppose evil directly. English translations of v. 11 are unhelpfully weak: the Hebrew is a strong imperative, “Rescueﾅ!” and puts its finger uncomfortably on the kind of blind-eye turning (12) that makes possible concentration camps, environmental destruction and the bullying that shamefully drives many children and adults to suicide today.
Ask God to bring to your mind a person you can mentor, or be mentored by. Pray for wisdom and insight to embody and share the truths of today’s passage.
Lord, You weigh my heart and watch over my soul (12). Give me courage to see as You see, and to act as Your Spirit prompts me.