Solomon is talking about wisdom and the benefit of godly wisdom. It’s wise to follow God, to turn from evil. Sound judgement and discernment are life to you, he says. Listen to your parents and don’t step foot on the path of the wicked. Trust in God and he will straighten you out.
Then Solomon says in 2:23, “Above all, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Is that a little anatomy lesson from Dr Solomon about exercise and watching your cholesterol? Those things are wise. But he goes on to say don’t swear or tell dirty jokes, keep your eyes from wandering, stay on the straight and narrow and keep your foot from evil.
I’ve heard married people say, “There’s no harm in looking” when they notice an attractive person of the opposite sex. Solomon begs to differ.
What we read, watch on TV, listen to in our music, laugh at during break time at work are feeding our hearts. Don’t kid yourself that it doesn’t effect you. That’s foolishness to think.
I imagine very few people wake up one day and say – I think I’ll have an affair today. Or I think I’ll become an alcoholic today. Or I want to lose all my money on a card game today. But affairs happen, alcoholism is a reality, and families suffer because of gambling. Those and other sins begin one choice at a time.
Sure you don’t become an alcoholic by having that first drink. But that first drink can lead to another and another. One look at an attractive person isn’t an affair. But that look can lead to longing, imagining, desire. What starts out as innocent, as harmless fun or recreation too often leads to full blown sin and heartache.
So Solomon warns us to guard our hearts. Pay attention to what you feed it. Control your impulses while you can. Don’t be foolish enough to think you are different than anyone else, that you can control yourself when others can’t. That’s putting your toe on the road to destruction. And that’s the first step to real trouble.
There’s going to be a lot of wisdom thrown at us in the next few days as we read Proverbs. May God find our hearts eager to be nourished by his word.