Main point summary
My son, be careful to follow the life-giving words that I told you. Specifically, be wise with all of your faculties: heart, mouth, eyes, and feet.
Bracket and paraphrase
k My son, be attentive to my words;
Son, pay attention to the words of wisdom that I told you;
incline your ear to my sayings.
always be willing to hear them.
l Let them not escape from your sight;
Don’t lose sight of them;
m keep them within your heart.
keep them at the center of your being, your heart.
For they are n life to those who find them,
Treat my words in this way because they are able to give life to anyone,
and healing to all their 1 flesh.
and they are able to provide healing to their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
Carefully prevent other things from capturing the love of your heart and preventing you from loving God,
for o from it flow p the springs of life.
because your heart is the very center of your being; everything flows out of your heart, whether good or bad.
Put away from you q crooked speech,
Abstain from telling lies and half-truths,
and put r devious talk far from you.
and flee from using words that deceive others.
s Let your eyes look directly forward,
Keep your focus on living righteously,
and your gaze be straight before you.
and don’t get distracted by temptations to sin.
t Ponder 1 the path of your feet ;
Be mindful and reflective about the way you live your life;
u then all your ways will be sure.
as a result, you will be righteous in what you do.
v Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
Do not give into this temptation or that;
turn your foot away from evil.
rather , actively keep away from evil.
We should guard carefully because it is so important. We wouldn’t hesitate to guard a million dollars. But are we that careful in guarding our heart?
Mediations and Takeaways
Verse 22 indicates that repentance is possible. No matter how foolishly we have acted in the past, God’s wisdom can still make us wise and heal us from the effects of our folly. Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is not enough to know the right thing to do. We should love wisdom and be diligent to remember wisdom. We should be careful to drift away from walking in wisdom. Verses 23-27 make it clear that we should take an active role in our sanctification (“keep”, “put away”, “ponder”) Being careful to walk in wisdom, as commanded in verses 23-27, is not legalism. Rather, it is how we find life and healing.
My son, be attentive
to my words;
incline your ear
to my sayings.
Let them not escape
from your sight;
within your heart.
For they are life
who find them,
to all their flesh.
Keep your heart
with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs
Put away ... crooked speech,
and put devious talk far
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight
Ponder the path
of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve
to the right
or to the left;
turn your foot away