When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
Are you wearing fetters or hobbles through life, holding you back from success? Do you stumble or fall over things you encounter, ending up in pain and trouble? There is a better way to live – a life without pitfalls and with a clear path for easy and rapid progress.
Solomon gave fatherly advice to his son to save him from life’s difficulties (Pr 4:10-11). Wisdom has incredible value (Pr 4:1-9). Because there are difficulties in life, wisdom and instruction are needed to save you from them. It is time you appreciated knowledge more.
Consider the proverb. If you learn wisdom, your steps will not be straitened when you go through life. What are straitened steps? It is a hard life that is limited, restrained, or tied up from enjoying the best in pleasure and prosperity. As a strait jacket binds and keeps a person from moving, natural foolishness binds and keeps a person from joy and success.
A great life – a truly successful life – can only be had through wisdom, which is why David taught Solomon that wisdom was the most important thing (Pr 4:7-9). He promised that wisdom would bring his son promotion and honor, if he would exalt and embrace it. Paul taught similarly by saying, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim 6:6).
If a man chooses to remain foolish, he will miss a prosperous or successful life. His folly will hurt his relationships, so that his marriage and children are painful and troublesome. By not working wisely, he will never move far in his profession. Vulnerable to financial scams and poor investments, he will squander the little bit of money he does earn. Loving sleep and foolish pleasures, he will always be behind financially and feeling desperate.
What is running without stumbling? It is progressing rapidly through life, without all the adversity, pain, and trouble that fools suffer during their lives. Every man will meet obstacles in life, but wisdom will save the prudent man from most of them. He will not trip and fall over difficulties like the fool. He will not fall flat in shame very often.
Life is short, and only wisdom will save you from troubles that can ruin your life. Foolish men find that life is like a hedge of thorns – very difficult to get through (Pr 15:19). It is an axiom of human existence that fools will have a hard life (Pr 13:15). Without wisdom, man has no light to direct him, and he will stumble over life’s surprises (Pr 4:19).
If a man chooses to be a fool, he is asking for misery and pain (Pr 8:36). Friends may entice him into a crime, and then he is a felon for life. A strange woman, looking ever so good, may ruin his marriage and reputation. A vain talker may deceive him into quitting a real job for a business scam. Mooching friends may bankrupt him with cosigned loans.
Wisdom brings promotion to honor and safety from trouble (Pr 4:1-11). What more do you want? Where can you find wisdom? In the Bible, from parents, from pastors, and from wise counselors! What are the conditions? You must humble yourself to receive correction and instruction from them, and you must apply yourself to do what you learn.
If a man humbles himself before the word of God and his teachers, and if he accepts and applies their instruction, then the great God will guide him, protect him, and prosper him (Pr 10:17; 13:18; 14:27; 15:32; Ps 32:7-11; 34:11-22; 128:1-6). The way of the righteous is blessed! Why would you choose any other way? Humble yourself today, and come meekly to Scripture and your teachers to find easy steps and smooth running for life.
You should attend and participate in a church (Heb 10:23-25). But what church will you choose? Some specialize in manmade burdens like the Pharisees of old (Matt 23:1-4). Others specialize in contemporary worship and carnal living to bring in crowds, but that will also bring God’s judgment (Jude 1:4). A true church of Jesus Christ will teach you that His yoke is easy and His burden light for rest for your soul (Matt 11:28-30; Jer 6:16).