Author: Ralph Beistle
The writer of Proverbs 29, in rapid succession, instructs his son/student to choose wisely how he proceeds through life in a variety of relationships. The value of making good choices will improve his interactions with other individuals in interpersonal relationships, in family, and even as a citizen of the community. If he were to resist changing his ways (being stiff-necked), he is doomed to failure and suffering. If he hasn’t already decided to seek the ways of wisdom, he needs to “see the big picture” and redirect his course. Wisdom wins – those who lack wisdom lose.
Why would anyone ever decide to change directions from one trend of thoughts, actions, or intentions to another? Possibilities:
- Change might be imposed on you by a stronger opponent.
- We might be persuaded by a clever deceiver.
- We may allow words of flattery to cloud our judgment.
- We may be unable to resist peer pressure to conform.
- We may choose to imitate someone whom we admire.
- Or, with our human intellect and life experience, we may conclude that it is more logical to follow “Plan B” than “Plan A.”
Considering all these methods by which our decision may be influenced, the consistent conclusion must be that these influences tend to reveal our weaknesses – not our wisdom.
The message of Proverbs is that a wise person will choose his decisions based upon the absolute conviction that an all-knowing, loving God will never lead us, teach us, or require us to believe or do anything that would compromise our integrity, deny our joy now, or jeopardize our eternal destiny.
Believing and doing God’s will promises the best life here and the eternal bliss of living with Him eternally when this present life is ended. That is the recurring theme throughout Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)