A Brief Meditation for the Month

January 2020

As we enter another year many members of our society will be seeking advice from those considered competent to offer guidance on the path to success, whether that be financial, material, vocational, social, or perhaps even spiritual success. Some superstitious souls will no doubt waste time and money resorting to fraudulent fortune tellers, and various mediums, offering to disclose to them inspired predictions from tarot cards, or read to them what their palm lines are signalling or their star signs are forecasting, in the vain hope of discovering a year of “good fortune” ahead of them. How lamentable it is to witness the anxiety of so many who appear to be utterly ignorant of an infallible source of the wisest guidance for all of life; namely, the Bible, God’s reliable word.

In the Bible we read, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise,” Proverbs 13:20. This simple statement lays before us a fundamental principle to be applied in the area of the company we keep, and its influence upon us throughout life. Knowledge and wisdom, we are told, are rooted in the “fear of the Lord,” Proverbs 1:7; 9:10. It is therefore in our best interest to seek the company and the advice of those who live, think, and act in the spirit of reverential fear for God. We may experience the company of others not just physically, but mentally. Often by reading the writings of historical figures whom we admire, we may feel a sense of nearness to them; of oneness with them, profiting from their learning, experiences, and valued scholarship. In our minds and imaginations, we are walking in their company. This being so, we ought to take careful cognizance of the authors we read: are they good companions, as we journey through life? Does their counsel influence us to seek the honour of God more than our own personal advantage and success in the world’s terms?

The wisest company we can find anywhere is referred to by Paul the apostle, when in his letter to the Colossians, he describes the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He affirms the truth, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” Colossians 2:3. While there is much knowledge about almost every conceivable subject available to those who pursue it today, much of it tends to fall short in many respects. Often the admission is made that yesterday’s claimed knowledge is contradicted or refuted by today’s discoveries. True knowledge is that which cannot be denied, contradicted, refuted, or challenged. Truth can only be discovered because it is a discoverable fact. It exists whether it is known or unknown.

One of the profound claims from the lips of Jesus Christ is recorded in the gospel of John, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” John 14:6. When we come by faith into contact with God’s Son, we become acquainted with truth and incomparable wisdom to guide us through all of life’s scenarios, difficulties, and decisions. All those who have discovered the personal benefits of divine wisdom, found in the Bible, and the advantages in life from following Christ, are content and satisfied to be guided in the way that they are confident God knows to be best for them. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” John 10:27. Those who are genuine Christians listen to the advice from their spiritual shepherd, and they follow his counsel. The surest way to progress in any field in the year ahead of us is to keep close to Christ while listening carefully and obediently to his voice.

G. G. Hutton.