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Giving Practical Guidance

A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness.  Proverbs 22:15 NLT

He came in, slammed his books down on his desk, and huffed.

Familiar with the various moods that plague middle schoolers from day to day, I asked the young man what had upset him.

“I forgot my cell phone,” he said.

Knowing they could not use them during the day anyway, I asked him what the big deal was.

“I need to call my mom when conditioning is over this afternoon.”

Hoping to start a conversation that would cause him to use his critical thinking skills, I asked, “Well, what would you do if there were no smartphones?”

“I would have a stroke or heart attack,” he said.

I decided to try a hypothetical scenario on him. “Suppose you were driving in a secluded area, and your car broke down. You had no phone to call for help. What would you do?”

He could think of no solution. Sadly, neither could he come up with an answer for his present dilemma. In his mind, no hope existed without his smartphone. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get him to realize he could walk to the front office and use a landline to call his mom.

Realizing he could not see a way out of his problem, I gave him the answer, then told him of a time when my daughter, son, and I got in a rainy cold front while backpacking. Instead of bemoaning our situation, we took to a secondary highway and hiked until we found a house and someone who could help us.

When young, our hearts are filled with foolishness. Not only do we have a sinful nature that points us in the wrong directions—which God and others will correct with various measures of discipline—but we also lack experience.

Through parenting, grandparenting, teaching, mentoring, coaching, and in other ways, God gives us adults the responsibility and the opportunities to guide the younger generation who lack knowledge and experience. Our responsibility is to point them to God-pleasing ways and to show them examples that will guide them to God and lead them to God-honoring decisions in life.

My young student accepted my guidance, went to the office, and called his mom. Who can you guide along life’s way?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Martin Wiles

Martin Wiles lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, pastor, and author who has been published in numerous publications. He also serves as Managing Editor for both Christian Devotions and Vinewords.net. He is the author of six books. His most recent book, Don’t Just Live...Really Live, was released in November 2021. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of six. He can be contacted at [email protected].