by Bill Cook
“What should we do?” someone recently asked me. “Should we adopt the children we’ve had with us for a year, or send them on to another home and take in more children to foster parent?” You’ve had questions just as tough lobbed at you—right? How do we make such difficult decisions?
I am thankful for two major events in my life. The first consisted of a series of episodes when my dad took me along with him wherever and whenever he could. I learned from him and the other “old guys” he interacted with. The second occurred when I was challenged to read “the Proverb of the day” every month. As a result, on the fourth of every month I read Proverbs chapter 4. This rich collection of Solomon’s advice has much to teach us.
When we’ve listened and heard the advice of our elders, when we’ve read and heeded the Word of God, then we are able to put into practice the deep truth found in Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (New King James Version).
How do we define success? Isn’t it the ability to make the right choices, the best decisions, and enjoy the outcome?
I learned from my dad and I learned from reading the Proverb of the day. I learned from two women as well—a wonderful Christian mother and the woman Solomon mentions in verse 13. Who is she? Why wisdom, of course. Remember her? She was the first of God’s works (Proverbs 8:22).
What do we say when asked hard questions? Where do we find direction when faced with tough choices? Have you ever heard this one: “Trust your heart”? Solomon qualifies the statement by telling us more than once in chapter 4 to trust the heart only when godly wisdom resides there. Then and only then will our decisions be made successfully.
Bill Cook is senior minister with the First Church of Christ in Covington, Indiana where he and his wife Pam have served since July 2007.