Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

3 The prudent see danger and take refuge,

   but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

 

 How far in advance are you able to see danger? The prudent person anticipates it from a long way off, and is proactive in taking refuge from it. This applies to life in many ways. When you are driving, the further down the road you see the more time you have to react to what’s ahead. With finances, the sooner you are able to see where your current spending is taking you, the sooner you can adjust and get rid of your debt. Foresight in relationships helps you anticipate conflict and keep it from escalating. Preparation for what’s important in the future keeps it from becoming urgent when tomorrow becomes today.

 Prudence also applies to the dangers of temptation. You know your weaknesses, and what triggers them. Avoid those places, take refuge from those things! “Lead us not into temptation,” says the Lord’s prayer. Have you made an effort to avoid temptation or are you just trying to avoid sin? Establish rules for yourself, they will protect you from the pits and snares of life. Identify the people, places and things that bring out the worst in you and stay away from them!

 “But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Not only do the simple fail to take refuge, they fail to see the danger ahead of them. They are following the advice of the world; they were not warned of the bondage of debt, the consequences of promiscuity, the slavery of sin. Their lives are full of those who have paid the penalties of foolishness, yet this does not deter the simple from taking the same paths. They are ignorant of their vulnerability, unafraid of danger, confident they can handle trouble without preparation. They are unique, but their destination is not. They do not see danger until it’s too late, they will pay the penalty regardless of intentions. 

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