20My child, listen carefully
to everything I say.
21Don't forget a single word,
but think about it all.
22Knowing these teachings
will mean true life
and good health for you.
23Carefully guard your thoughts
because they are the source
of true life.
A lot of things seem to come in three’s. My favourite series of books is a threesome. When things break down in our home it always seems that three things go all at the same time. I can’t seem to sneeze only once or twice. It’s a proven fact that our minds are tuned to remember things that are grouped in triplicate.
So it is wise that the writer of this proverb says, “Listen, remember and think.” The three steps to life and health are plain. The father knows it is possible to hear but not listen, making it unlikely that the son will remember let alone ponder what his father has told him.
In like manner, if we listen to what God is telling us through his word, through Godly people who counsel us, and, indeed, through all that happens in our lives, we will remember his wisdom at those moments when it is most needed and we will think before making decisions that might cause harm to ourselves and others.
The writer of this proverb says that guarding your thoughts is paramount because the source of life is there. The thoughts fed by God’s wisdom will always lead to life. But there is reason to guard them. Distractions and temptations constantly bombard our minds, pulling us away from what God has taught us. The scripture tells us we are able to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2Corinthians 10:5). We are able to accomplish that only through the power and grace of God.
Listen, remember, think, and guard our thoughts.
Heavenly father, we thank you for your guidance through your word and your people. We ask that you continually guide our minds and hearts in the way they should go and teach us how to guard against the evil one. In Jesus name, Amen.