Proverbs 4

What does it mean for us to grow in Christian maturity? We need to listen to wise instruction and to let it change us.
Maturity in the Lord is not just for young men. Paul writes in Titus 2:2, “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.” This is a worthy goal. How can we attain it unless we follow the good examples that God has set before us?
Even old men need to listen to wisdom. We especially need to listen to the Word of God and to diligently put it into practice, rather than falling back into bad habits.
Wisdom demands that we see the difference between good and evil, and that we stay away from foolishness. We cannot find maturity in Jesus by joining with others in their malice and violence. That should be obvious. The pathway of wickedness leads only to darkness and death.
There is a better way—one that our righteous Savior walked for us. That road leads to ever clearer spiritual vision and to the bright day of healthy resurrection living, but it requires that we pick up the cross that God has ordained for us and walk in love.
We will foolishly reject that cross if we live our lives according to childish impulses. The maturity of true faith demands that we learn this discernment concerning our own hearts and find the courage from the Lord to reject evil.
Are we wandering from the joy of the Lord? Are we returning to old ways that will only lead to trouble? We need to see the wisdom of God again in our Savior and run toward that light. His love for us can be the delight of our hearts. Remember, He forgives and He renews. Out of our hearts will flow streams of living water, the Lord’s gift to His children.
Following the Savior who loves us requires diligence. We need to pay attention not only to the meditations of our hearts, but also to the words that we speak. We need to govern ourselves by the grace that the Lord supplies.
We have learned the value of listening to the truth. We have also found that we cannot let our eyes gaze longingly at that which will only destroy us. We will only avoid injury if we are willing to diligently keep our eyes on the pathway that leads to life. “Lead on, O King eternal. We follow you!”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers

Lord God, there is no doubt that You give us good precepts. Help us to see the connection between true wisdom and obedience. As a matter of first importance, may we seek the way of wisdom with real earnestness. Protect us and our children from dangerous company. The way of the wicked would be very destructive for us. We must not think that we are safe associating with those of crooked speech and devious talk. Keep us on a straight path of what we clearly know to be right.