As parents, we always want our kids hanging out with ‘good’ kids who respect adults, teachers and the law. These kids have supposedly ‘good’ parents who’re presumably interested enough in their kids’ development they’re into loving discipline, directing them on a good, responsible path. Our prayer is always that they’ll walk now, and eventually always, with the wise.
The chapters of Proverbs are delicious but tight and it’s hard to break them open as a set to discern patterns and themes; but we’re bound to try! The answer to our dilemma, at least as far as Proverbs 13 is concerned, comes from verse 20 (Msg):
“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”This and other themes come out.
For another, the wise are diligent; they know the path toward life is intrinsic to good work. The ‘desires of the diligent are satisfied fully’ (v. 4). As far as money’s concerned, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow” (v. 11 TNIV). The diligent reap gradually from consistent sowing in good faith.
One thing the wise are bound to tell us (if we’ll listen) is how and when to discipline our children in love. The Message paraphrase of the Bible says in verse 24, “A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them.”
Delusional Talk Shunned
The wise don’t tolerate inconsistent and inaccurate ‘dreamy’ thinking for long before cautioning against it; a person could not get away with pretending to be rich (v. 7), for instance, but covering for wealth in humility would be perfectly acceptable.
Seek Counsel of the Wise
Wisdom is found in those prudently seeking and taking advice from trusted and reliable sources (v. 10) and they know that the teaching of the wise is the ‘fountain of life’ (v. 14) to them, and a trustworthy envoy provides healing even if it costs a little pain on the way (v. 17); the respect of discipline is the wise person’s secret weapon of humility (v. 18).
Finally, a longing fulfilled is both sweet to the soul (v. 19) and a tree of life (v. 12) speaking of honesty and hope. Those who walk with the wise learn to deal honestly and can confidently and safely brim with hope because trust underpins the relationship.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.