“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” –A Proverb of Solomon (22:3 & 27:12)
They lived happily together in their beautiful new home. It was the perfect love story – for a while. Until the day when everything went wrong.
It wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare. A chill was in the air. Something strange was happening. Usually Adam and Eve loved to hear God’s voice and would run to Him. But this time they ran away and hid in the shadows.
They hadn’t just broken the one rule; they had broken God’s heart. They had broken their wonderful relationship with Him. And now everything else would break. God’s creation would start to unravel, and come undone. From now on everything would die – even though it was suppose to live forever.
Satan won the victory that day in the garden and sadly, he continues to win many similar ones in the heart of teenagers. Think of what would have happened if Eve had detected the deceitfulness of Satan! Oh, how things would have been so different if they’d only been prudent.
The word “prudent” literally means cautious or mindful of the consequences of an action. It’s “foreseeing the evil” that will come with every bad choice. Solomon must have thought it pretty important since he mentioned it twice to his son. I suppose Solomon’s son was a typical teenager facing temptation and finding himself in a pickle every now and then, too.
Let’s take a lesson in prudence from Eve and Solomon – just remember the three V’s:
Look out! The next temptation is around the corner! Vigilance is closely knitted with sobriety and seriousness. (1 Peter 5:8). Most of the time we get ourselves in trouble because we just don’t think! Fun and games quickly cloud our vision and we soon find ourselves doing things that dishonor Christ and get us into trouble. It’s easy to allow our unstable emotions to be our guide.
Think! Not all invitations should be readily accepted. Certain people at the wrong place at the wrong time equal disaster. The mere presence of friends can cause us to post or like things on Facebook that normally we would have thought twice about.
Being prudent is the opposite of being simple. Proverbs describes a simple person as someone who is void of understanding, ignorant, naïve, foolish and easy influenced. But a prudent person is on guard, looking, and watching.
VISUALIZE the future.
A prudent person sees the consequences of their actions before they happen!
When I think of this proverb, I imagine two guys walking along, one looking around and aware of the landscape, while the other is whistling and skipping along without a care in the world. When they come to edge of a cliff one stops short of the edge and the other unknowingly falls to his death!
Visualizing the future sure can be a life-saver. My 10-month-old doesn’t quite understand this concept yet. He’s climbing and falling all over the place. He doesn’t foresee any harm or injury when trying to escape his crib – he just wants to get to the other side of the crib. As his mother, I can see all the bumps, bruises, and tears that will result if he makes it out.
Teenagers must practice the discipline of visualizing the future. This means you can’t just blindly go through life anymore. Satan is a great deceiver – especially of women. He knows how to get in touch with our emotions. Therefore, with every decision, we must carefully analyze its repercussions.
Get the VICTORY!
The Bibles says that when the prudent man sees the evil, he “hideth himself.”
Certain people at the wrong place at the wrong time equal disaster. If the mall is a place where you’re given into worldliness – avoid it! If another person tempts you with ungodly music, movies, or language that vex your spirit – avoid them! That may sound harsh, but it’s Biblical. A simple person doesn’t understand this truth.
A prudent person also learns from their mistakes. Let’s face it; we’re not always going to make wise decisions. As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, they had to leave their beautiful home. In another story, it would all be over and that would be the end – But not in this Story! God’s wonderful plan of redemption through Jesus mended a broken relationship and brought back life.
Likewise, one foolish choice doesn’t have to be an end of you. Eve probably avoided all snakes after she was deceived by one! *smile* Take your failures and the failures of others and develop prudence – through vigilance (foreseeing the evil) and visualizing the future (how will this effect myself and others) and get the victory (avoid heartache and punishment)!
“…the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” –Proverbs 14:18