My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.
I bet you’ve noticed that there are lots of roads and pathways in our world: super highways, country lanes; bike paths, walking paths; sea routes for ships, air routes for planes. Paths are for our safety, and they show us that someone has gone this way before.
If you’ve ever gone hiking with someone, you know how easy it is to get sidetracked by something off the path. You see a pretty flower just over there, beside that rock, and you want to see it up close. A squirrel leaps from tree to tree and you want to follow it.
Can you think of a time when you made a bad choice? Maybe a friend asked you to do something that your mom and dad told you not to do. Did you ever watch something on TV or online that you knew wasn’t a good thing for you to see? Have you said things that weren’t true or that hurt someone’s feelings? When you make a bad choice, you’ve started down a wrong path. You’ve gotten “off track.”
You might not know it, but your parents and teachers are trying to help you choose the right way to go. When you do something wrong, your parents might put you in “time out” or paddle your butt or take away your favorite electronic game. Your teacher might give you extra homework or send you to see the principal. They’re not doing this to be mean, but to help you learn to make good decisions on your own. They know that when you walk on a bad path, it starts to look and feel like the only path there is.
The verse above says you need to keep your heart on the right course or the right path. How can you do that? Your parents, teachers, and other adults will help. You can go to church (without complaining) and ask to go to Sunday School (and really listen). Read your Bible or have someone read it and other Bible stories to you.
Pray! Ask God to keep you on track. “Lead me by your truth, God, and teach me, for you are the God who saves me” (Psalm 25:5). “If you follow Jesus, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12). It’s not always easy to stay on the right path, but it’s always worth it.