To be a child at heart is not always a good thing, because “folly is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15 ESV). Even the most compliant children have hard places in their hearts. They will defy rules, giving up reward for selfish pleasure.

Sadly, this is a heart condition we never outgrow. Folly doesn’t die out on its own. Defiance and stubbornness cling to our souls like dust.

Proverbs 5 emphasizes the sad journey of a man who ignores the teachings of righteous living, the instructions for how to do it, and the warnings he receives from those who call him back.

A lifetime of being around godly people, of being “in the assembled congregation” was no guarantee that he would become one of them.

It is possible to be in the right place, with the right people, hearing the right message … and be going the wrong way. A person must make the courageous choice—the courageous personal choice—to “live a godly life in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Others may influence the decision by their faithful example, but none can bring godliness to another by proxy. One must choose.

You must choose: God above all? Or just enough of Him so you can keep playing the part? Just remember, the Proverbs 5 man chose the latter—and it nearly ruined him.

“I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”
(Proverbs 5:14)