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I Peter 1:14

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
(NIV)


Have you ever heard the verse, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Prov 22:6)? It is a very common verse, but I think that it is one of the most misused verses in the Bible, because of the way it was translated. I don't want to do a full commentary on this verse right now, but I do want to clear one thing up, because I think that it can relate to this verse.

Most people read this and cling to it as a promise that if they raise their children correctly, then when they are old those children will stay close to God. Whether or not that is true, it has little to do with this verse. The phrase, "the way he should go" would be more properly translated as "the way he is bent" (or one could say, "the way he would go). This verse is a theological teaching on the nature of children. We are born with a bent. We are born, headed in a certain direction, promoted by our natural desires.

This verse is not a good promise, it is a warning. If you raise a child according to his bent, his nature, then when he is old, that is how he is going to live.

I might do some commentary on Proverbs 22 at one point, so I won't go any further. Notice though that the current verse we are looking at relates us to little children, and tells us not to conform to our evil desires (i.e. our former bent).

Maybe we used to do just what we wanted, when we wanted it, and maybe even the good things we did really had a motivation to please ourselves. There was something we wanted, and we would do what it took to get it.

But as obedient children, we will put away those evil desires, and seek to please God instead.

This is one of those verses that comes in so handy when you are seeking to live the day to day life. Keep this one on a 3x5 card. Carry it with you. Memorize it so that it comes to mind when you are in that desperate situation and the temptations seem insurmountable.

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