As promised, here’s the continuation of the article I wrote last week which highlighted the message I gave at the PORTA High School Baccalaureate on May 20.
For a quick review, the challenge is to walk in the way of wisdom, taken from Proverbs 3:1-6, emphasizing the kind of godly, biblical wisdom found in a right relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Our world desperately needs to see a new generation rising up in the healthy and holy fear of the Lord, which not only brings good to the soul of the believer, but also to all those whom he or she impacts.
So on this foundation here are two take-home assignments that will keep you walking in the way of wisdom throughout your journey.
1. Remember where you came from. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart” (Pr. 3:1).
When I was going away to college, my mom wrote out two Bible verses for me on index cards and tucked them inside my Bible. She didn’t want me to forget where I came from, or the values she and my dad had taught me. My parents raised me to know right from wrong. They sought to instill in me ideals like humility and kindness, gratitude and compassion, honesty and integrity, patience and forgiveness.
They impressed on me such practical, biblical truth as expressed in what we call The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Jesus’ instruction here perfectly applies the command in Proverbs 3:3: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” So let the love of God flow through you to bless others.
We are also blessed here to have a school system which seeks to uphold biblical values such as respecting, serving, and encouraging others; developing responsibility, character, and a healthy sense of pride; and promoting teamwork, among other things.
Remember the godly values and character traits your parents, teachers, coaches, and others have tried to instill in you, and do not forsake their teaching, even in a culture which will attempt to undermine and mock and redefine what’s good and right and true for their own selfish and sinful purposes. And let me challenge you to honor them by thanking them for the investment they’ve made in your life.
2. Trust the Lord to lead you forward. I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is trustworthy. Take confidence in His care and faithfulness toward you, in His protection, His provision, His purposes, His power, His goodness, and His love.
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Pr. 3:6).
A runner on first base needs to pay close attention to and follow the signs given by his third base coach. Whether the coach signals for a bunt, a hit and run, a steal, or whatever, the runner needs to trust the coach and do what he says. It usually doesn’t turn out well for the player who misses the sign or refuses to act on it.
Same goes for us. God can be wholly trusted to lead us in the way He wants us to go, even if we don’t always understand it. He will never lead us astray. But if we fail to consult our “Heavenly Coach,” we’re setting ourselves up for it to not end well.
My challenge for you here is the advice my Uncle Olen gave me – get connected to a group of believers who will help you walk in the way of wisdom. Whether that’s a Christian campus ministry or a local church, you need the encouragement and accountability from other Christ followers. There are too many temptations and too many other roads which lead to ruin, and there’s enough foolishness in the world already.
If you truly want to make a lasting impact for good, then walk in the way of wisdom – remembering where you came from and trusting the Lord to lead you forward.