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  • Writer's pictureJ.A.Abele

Proverbs With Purpose For Young People- Proverb 23: 17-18

Here is a practical example to help understand-

Proverb 23: 17-18

Do not let your heart envy sinners [who live godless lives and have no hope of salvation],

But [continue to] live in the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the Lord day by day.

Surely there is a future [and a reward],

And your hope and expectation will not be cut off.

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Imagine this situation: Ben is at a party where there is a lot of alcohol, music, and dancing. He sees people having a lot of fun and being carefree and even reckless. He feels envious, wants to join in, but knows he shouldn't.

 

Ben: "They're having so much fun. I really want to join in and be like that for a while."

 

Anne: "I know you might be tempted, Ben, but seriously think about the consequences of that lifestyle. Sure, it might seem like people are having a good time at the moment, but in reality, it's not sustainable. The effects of alcohol or drugs might be exciting for a little while, but it’s addictive and leads to unhealthy habits and ultimately, it harms your body and your soul. Stay away from that kind of life, focus on your faith, and it’ll bring more contentment and peace in the long run."

 

Potential risks and negative consequences of engaging in activities contrary to your values:


Risks:

Physical and mental health problems: Engaging in harmful activities like excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, or unhealthy eating habits can lead to physical and mental health problems.

Broken relationships: Engaging in activities that harm others or cause harm to your relationships can lead to conflict and estrangement.

Shame and guilt: Engaging in activities that you know are wrong can lead to shame and guilt, which can further impact your mood and wellbeing.

Spiritual alienation: Engaging in activities that are contrary to your faith can lead to spiritual alienation and disconnect from God.


Negative consequences: 

Regret: You may feel regret later for engaging in activities you know you shouldn't have done.

Self-destruction: Engaging in activities that are harmful to yourself or others can lead to self-destruction.

Broken promises: You may promise yourself that you won't engage in certain activities, but you may end up breaking your promise.

Loss of integrity: Engaging in activities that are contrary to your values can lead to a loss of integrity and self-respect.

 

Find joy and satisfaction in living according to God's principles.

Combating the risks and negative consequences:

 

Identify your values: Reflect on what is most important to you and identify your values.

Create boundaries: Set limits and boundaries to prevent yourself from engaging in harmful activities.

Find alternatives: If you are tempted to engage in harmful activities, find alternative ways to satisfy your needs and desires.

Seek support: If you are struggling to resist temptation, talk to a friend, family member, counselor, or other trusted adult, and pray for guidance and strength. .

Practice self-discipline: Practice self-discipline and moderation in all things.

Trust in God: Ultimately, trust in God's timing and plan for your life.


Proverb 20: 17-18 encourages us to live in the fear of the Lord day by day, regardless of what others are doing. By focusing on our relationship with God, we can find contentment and peace even in the face of temptation.

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