The Secret for Staying Safe

But those who obey wisdom dwell in security, in peace, without fear of harm. – Proverbs 1:33

by Barry C. Black, Chaplain, United States Senate

October 2018

Do you know the secret for staying safe? Some people believe that security comes from ballistic missiles, or home alarm systems, or martial arts training. These may keep you safe for a time, but will they keep you safe for eternity? Is there a secret for being safe in this world and the next? I believe one secret for being safe for eternity is found in Proverbs 1:33: “But those who obey wisdom dwell in security, in peace, without fear of harm.” By wisdom the Bible is referring to reverential awe for God that leads to integrity and fulfillment (Proverbs 1:7), an attitude characterized by purity, peace, gentleness, compliance, mercy, productivity, constancy, and sincerity (James 3:17).

Although security systems are fine, Godly wisdom is the secret for staying safe for time and eternity. This wisdom prepares you for a joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of a wider service in the world to come. Proverbs 10:9 puts it this way: “Those who walk with integrity walk securely, but those whose ways are cooked will fare badly” (Proverbs 10:9).

These words seem to me like an oasis blooming in the desert or like a lone star smiling through thunder clouds. They reassure me that I can live in peace, without fear, in spite of my external circumstances. In following divine wisdom and obeying sacred precepts, I can develop an inner reserve that will provide me with peace even in the midst of a storm. I can walk securely, avoiding self-inflicted wounds, and reaching my destination without stumbling or slipping.

In short, you and I can stay safe even in a dangerous and predatory world by reverently pursuing God’s divine strategy for wisdom. Let convulsions shake the earth; it really won’t matter for you will abide in the stronghold of God’s loving and unfolding providence, aware that your steps are being guided by Him. Even if you lose your life in this chaotic world, God has promised you an eternal security in His presence, living within the shadow of His mercy and love (John 14:1-3).

 How then can we implement this secret of God’s wisdom, staying safe while walking through life’s minefields? Proverbs 8:13 is instructive: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, pride, arrogance, and the evil way.” What does this mean? If the fear of the Lord, reverential awe, is wisdom’s beginning (Proverbs 1:7), you start walking securely and safely when you cultivate a hatred for such negatives as evil, pride, arrogance, and transgression.

Hating evil means feeling about transgression as God does, refusing to be fascinated or titillated by sin. It means seeing sin with a sense of revulsion. Hating pride and arrogance refers to pursuing humility and not thinking of yourself more highly than you should. It involves realizing that your talents and ability are gifts from God, so the glory of your accomplishments belong to Him (1 Corinthians 4:7). Hating the evil way means knowing that the sinful path leads to destruction, which should motivate you and me to abandon evil for God’s ideal plan for our lives.

What then is the secret of staying safe in an unsafe world? Reverently embrace God’s wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, compliant, merciful, productive, steady and sincere, as  you develop a hatred for evil, pride, arrogance, and sin; thereby, staying safe for time and eternity.

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