At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Proverbs 7:6-8
Two people saw an advertisement for a school driver job and they both applied. On the day of the interview they were shown the route they would use to take the school kids back home on a map. The route was pretty rough and they would have to go through cliffs and an old bridge whose guard rails had come off. The first driver thumped his chest and said, “I’m a very good driver, I can even drive fast on the edge of the cliff without losing control of the bus. I can dash over the bridge, with or without guard rails and still keep the bus in pretty good balance.” He finished with a wide grin on His face as if he expected a round of applause. What he was trying to do was impress the interviewers with his impressive driving skills. The second man looked down; a bit embarrassed, and said, “I’m afraid I don’t have such skills, I will drive slowly, stay as far away as possible from the cliff edge and go even slower through the bridge with no guard rails.” Who, between these two, do you think got the job? The second man for the first one was a fool.
This principle of wisdom also applies in other spheres of our life. It’s called self distrust. It sounds strange because what we have tried to do growing up is build our self confidence. Yet the self distrust that I speak of here has got nothing to do with your esteem but everything to do with your choices. When it comes to keeping boundaries or handling temptations, the wise thing is to stay as far as possible from danger or the things that may tempt you. In Proverbs 7 we see a young person walk towards temptation. He probably had no intention to fall because in verse 21 we read that he was “led astray with persuasive words, seduced with her smooth talk”. He probably just wanted to satisfy his curiosity. But by trusting himself so much he fell into sin.
Do you trust yourself too much and make careless choices? Have you crossed boundaries thinking, “I will surely watch myself from falling”? Or said, while on the internet, I will watch only this one time and then I will switch off without doing anything evil?”. Self distrust gives birth to self deception which in turn leads you to be snared by sin. Here is biblical wisdom from proverbs “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Prov 22:3,27:12
Don’t be deceived and go to the edge. Don’t try to see how close you can come to sin without falling. Instead make every effort to stay as far as possible from sin, out of reverence for Christ. “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”2 Tim 2:22.
Set boundaries for yourself. They will be markers to show you when you are straying too far from the safe zone, and will raise red flags for you to recognize your own deluded self trust as you walk towards danger. And hopefully once you come to your senses you can “flee”.
2 Timothy 2:22 above advices that we “flee the evil desires” and “pursue righteousness” with others. The Christian journey is not for Lone Rangers. We need to surround ourselves with people who share our convictions and who will help spur us on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
Lord help me to be wise and not take myself towards danger. Keep me away from being trapped in my curiosity of evil. Help me to turn away and to stay far from the path of evil and instead pursue righteousness with other believers.