June 2012
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Tempting Outside; Toxic Inside

An Australian study concluded that plainer cigarette packages would make smoking less appealing to teens. In response, the Australian government introduced legislation that would require tobacco companies to replace color, logos, and promotional text on cigarette packages with health warnings and images of diseased lungs. In effect, the Marlboro Man would give way to the Grim Reaper in an effort to reduce the number of deaths caused by smoking. But cigarette packaging isn’t the only thing that may be tempting on the outside with a toxic product inside.

The Old Testament book of Proverbs urges us to carefully consider the long-term results of all our choices. The recurring phrase “in the end” (Prov. 5:4; 25:8; 29:21) is a warning to look down the road and ask if what we’re attracted to will ultimately lead to joy or sorrow, honor or disgrace, life or death. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright” (2:6-7).

The key to avoiding the tragic results of foolish choices is embracing God’s wisdom as our guide through life. “Then [we] will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path” (v.9).

There’s so much wisdom to be learned,
So many ways for me to grow,
Lord, I would listen like a child,
And learn what You would have me know. —K. De Haan
Wisdom is understanding what’s really important.