How to Live

“Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life.” Proverbs 22:6 TEV

“The best anyone can teach you is to know and love the truth and to live wisely.”

My thoughts today are about “how to live.”

Today’s verse is usually read as an instruction and promise to parents, and so it is. Good parents, who taught and affirmed you, and loved you enough to correct you, are a cause for thankfulness. Be generous in your appraisal; they may have been less than perfect parents, but then you may not have been so perfect and possibly made parenting harder than it could have been.

Godly parents – though human and imperfect – provide a wonderful head start in life that you may not fully recognize yet. Don’t react to their missteps; just learn from those as they would want you to do. Even from those with poor or little parenting skills, you can gain a desire to give your children and grandchildren something better than you received, rather than wasting life by blaming your parents for every failure of theirs, and every bad choice of yours.

Allow me to accent the personal responsibility couched in this promise from today’s verse. Have you realized for yourself how life should be lived? Ultimately, no one lives your life for you. Your life is the result of the times you get it right and got it wrong, both your own unwise decisions and right choices, whatever your parents did or did not do. Maybe the best thing anyone can ever do for you is to teach you a respect for the Bible and a desire to know its truth and live wisely. That’s how you should live! That is what you will truly “remember all your life.”

Life is best lived with the intention to give more to others than was given to you, to do better for others than was modeled for you. Take what was good from your parents, or could have been far from good, and provide yourself and family something far better. But you can only do that successfully if you know how you should live.

A successful and satisfying life begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and a working knowledge of the Bible. Start anywhere else, and you will have difficulty reaching the right destination. Simon Peter had it right when he understood, Lord, where would we go? For You alone have the words that give eternal life!” John 6:68-69 NLT. Jesus boldly affirmed, “The words that I have spoken to you bring God’s life-giving Spirit.” John 6:63 TEV.

I have observed that people do not choose what they believe; you choose whom you believe and that determines what you believe. Think about that for a moment. I choose to believe God and His Word. That determines what I believe, and what is true of how life can best be lived.

Who have you chosen to believe, and how has that shaped what you believe? Has that worked for you? When you push past all the opinions and rationale, what does your heart tell you? What is your confident standard by which all else is measured and judged? My advice is the same as Paul’s to young Timothy, “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT.

My prayer today for you is to keep God’s Word prominent in every choice you make.