I started reading through the book of Proverbs recently. Oh, I want to be wise.
As I was sitting with my middle schooler the night before school started this week, I read to her from chapter one. This book was written for young people too.
These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Proverbs 1:4
I told her that this chapter was a perfect reminder as she went back to school and I continued to read to her.
My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, ‘Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun let’s ambush the innocent! Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.’ Proverbs 1:10-12
(Go ahead and laugh at the verse I chose to read to my daughter.)
She stopped me with a look of horror on her face.
“MOM! Let’s KILL someone? Who says that? What does THAT have to do with school?!”
Stay with me.
I paused for a moment and looked at that sweet face – who never wants to hurt anyone.
In my head, when I read that verse while thinking of walking down a middle school hallway. A high school hallway. The break-room. Wherever. It took on a meaning that made my stomach churn.
“This is what we do to people when we tease them, make fun of them, talk behind their backs. We ‘ambush the innocent.’ It ‘swallows them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.'”
Before I finished the first few words, I could see the light come on; an understanding flicker in her eyes, and I could see that her stomach started to churn too.
“Oh, yeah.” she said quietly.
It was sort of a solemn moment.
A reminder to be kind. To watch our mouths. To love.
And yes – the middle schooler’s tongue might need tamed, but you know who else’s tongue needs tamed?
It’s SO easy to get caught up when we’re with friends. “It’s just for fun. We’re just joking.” we tell ourselves.
My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths…It robs them of life. Proverbs 1:15 & 19b
I prayed for wisdom this morning and for help with my words.
At the end of each day. Let’s agree together to reflect on our words.
Did we help more than we harmed?
Did we build-up more than tear down?
Did we love more than hate?
Let’s make sure the answer to each of those questions is YES. Let’s do it together.