We all need direction in this life. As children our parents are constantly in a state of helping us see and correct the wrong things that we do. The truth is as a parent myself, there are days when it seems like the only thing I do is correct and discipline my kids. Thankfully God offers the direction that we all need through His word.
Learning God’s way is no different when it comes to teaching wisdom to our kids… this proverb starts with “whoever heeds discipline” which can be translated, “whoever pays attention to or is mindful of instruction/ correction shows the way of life”. If you and I want to live by the way of life we need to be mindful and pay attention to God’s way and his instructions. As we pay attention to them and care about how they intersect with our lives, we will show others the way of life.
If that is true, the opposite must be true which is the second half of this proverb. If we “ignore correction” we “lead others astray”. Correction and instruction is something we all need from time to time. As children we needed it 24/7. Even though I find myself constantly correcting my children, the hope is that the more they pay attention and apply my instructions the less I have to give it to them. The less they need discipline. My frustration comes when I give them instructions and they fail to apply it and the very thing I warned them about happens.
This leads us to two application points or questions… do you have a way of listening to and hearing God’s instructions? And more importantly do you learn from your mistakes when you don’t heed His wisdom?
We should all listen to God’s wisdom and instruction, but let’s be honest… we are all going to listen and at times go our own way. The sign of wisdom is not that you know everything, but that you are willing and able to learn from your mistakes and consequently make the necessary adjustments to never make those mistakes again. If you want to learn and grow in your relationship with God, heed His wisdom and make the proper adjustments when you fail.
This is the “way to life” as Proverbs 10:17 says.