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  • Heidi J. Smith

Heeding Instruction

"Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray." Proverbs 10:17 ESV



While vacationing with my family at the lake, I sat in a yellow plastic chair and watched my kids play "king of the dock." Squeals of laughter rang through the air as they jumped and pushed each other into the water. I smiled and sipped my water as others sunbathed, read books, and checked their phones.


Jet skis raced and boats zoomed past. Along the beach kids built sandcastles, while red signs contrasted against the blue sky.


After swimming my kids wanted to ride the paddle boats, but my youngest complained that he didn't need a life jacket. "I'm a good swimmer," he said. The staff member explained the dangers and told my son to put one on.


Have you ever struggled to follow a rule because you didn't see the point?


Just as signs display warnings and instructions, God’s Word provides direction for our lives. If we observe the rules, peace follows.


Sometimes we wonder why certain laws exist, but the lawmaker is trying to protect us.

The same is true of God’s ways. Our loving Creator desires the best for us and knows more than we do. We are to listen and obey.


Why do we not follow God's ways? Do we think we know better than God?


We think, I have always done it this way. Why should I change something that works or feels good? No one follows these guidelines. Aren't these rules old-fashioned? I'm not hurting anyone.


Why is heeding certain rules easier while shunning others? Do we not realize the ramifications? Or maybe our choices have not negatively affected us or our loved ones yet?


The Bible is our instruction book for life. The Bible provides wisdom for navigating relationships, handling finances, raising children, dealing with business decisions, and coping with life's stresses.


God gave us the Bible to teach, rebuke, fix, and guide us (2 Timothy 3:16). He loves and desires our good. He knows the beginning and the end. While we only see a tiny part, He sees the big picture. How could we not trust our Creator God?


"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV


Lord, please help us to heed your ways on vacation, at work, and home. In your goodness, you are trying to protect us. Help us to remember You are the Creator and we are the clay. Help us know that you love us and want the best for us.



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Heidi J. Smith