Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13), he was not suggesting that it was all about someone else drawing us into temptation. We are responsible too. Dealing with life’s temptations calls for an awareness of the tempting power of sin. It includes recognizing that others, like the proverb writer and our parents, know the powerful temptation of sin.
The words of the tempter can seem so enticing or desirable, and they may wear us down. Temptation is everywhere in our lives. A wise person knows this. A wise person hears the proverb writer say, in effect, “It takes away the lives of those who give in to it.”
Sin is self-destructive. It’s terribly sad when we succumb to temptation and end up hurting others and ourselves.
Following wise instruction, however, leads to life as God intended it.
Jesus put it this way: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). If you’ve been blessed with parents who taught you these words, thank God. If not, give thanks that you know them now. And if you don’t know what they mean, seek out someone who can help you learn and understand.
Father, thank you for parents who teach their children the way of life to its fullest in Christ. Empower us today to follow Christ as our example. In his name, Amen.
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