"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding." Proverbs 4:7
I have been thinking a lot about wisdom lately. I have been participating in Beth Moore's Wising Up video study of Proverbs on Wednesday mornings. It has reminded me how very applicable the Bible is to everyday life.
As a result of the great nuggets of truth I have been reminded of, I have been talking with my husband about how to start working through Proverbs with our children in an age-appropriate way. While many concepts might be beyond their years, I think it is never too early to lay down some basic foundational tracks.
Recently one of my children was experiencing some challenges with another child they frequently encounter. The child was taunting my child with ugly/upsetting comments when other adults were not around. As I attempted to talk through how to handle a bully, I felt myself struggling with the potential conflict this might present with the primary message I preach to my children: Be loving and kind.
I realized that telling my 5 year old daughter to avoid a friend who is deliberately hurtful might be complicated. I was challenged to start thinking through issues in advance so that I might be firmly rooted and ready when some of the predictable ones arise.
It also led me to contemplate some of my own relational decisions. I love the idea of being a follower who exudes both grace and truth, but practically speaking, I have felt some challenges to applying that concept 'in real life'--especially when it comes to friendships. For a couple of months I have been specifically reflecting on how to maintain healthy boundaries with people whose moral/religious compasses are not pointing them in the same direction as mine. I want to be loving and available for those who are struggling, but when someone is playing with fire as they dabble in sin, I want to keep a safe distance.
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 13:20 NIV
I have felt very conflicted. My life experience has taught me that the best evangelism is often to share life with people in a meaningful way in order to 'earn the right to be heard.' And yet, it is undoubtably a very slippery slope. How do you hold out a lifeline for someone going over the edge of a cliff without getting pulled over yourself? The ONLY way is to be firmly and securely tethered to a rock.
Three weeks ago my husband and I were in Atlanta on a Sunday morning and were able to hear the second message in Andy Stanley's "Guardrails" series. It was amazing and completely relevant to this specific issue! I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Andy has set out to tackle some difficult life topics and how we can wisely assign ourselves some guardrails to avoid falling into sin. As I have listened to the first three messages I have found myself greatly encouraged. Go. Listen. Now.
This world is crazy, but when we spend time in the Word we are reminded that God has equipped us with what we need to make it through. Let's seek wisdom and the courage to do what we know we should!