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The Gate for Pondering

26 Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

Proverbs 4:26–27

An Old Word

The word “ponder” seems to have gone out of style. Can you remember the last time you saw that word in a news article? I find its disuse sad. And I find the lack of pondering terrifying! The word ponder means “to weigh in the mind; to view with deliberation; to examine carefully; to consider attentively.” I suppose its very definition explains why “ponder” is a rarely used word. Still, I am constrained by logic from believing that the act of pondering a decision has gone to the wayside along with desktop computers, CB radios, and slinkies.

The Gate

Let’s consider today’s verse. God’s Word tells us, at least in the English Standard Version, to ponder the path of our feet. When I read this verse, it immediately caused me to think about the gate for pondering. How big or small must something be for us to ponder it, to roll it around in our heads and hearts, to seek its moral value?

Indeed, a marriage proposal is surely big enough for our brains to open our synaptic pathways to pondering. The same is true for purchasing cars or houses or financial investments. These are obviously big enough to open the gate. But is bigness the only thing that decides if the gate for pondering should be opened?

Morally Apparent

Today’s verse tells us to ponder where we are going morally. Verse twenty-seven states, “turn your foot away from evil.” Sometimes, the morality of a decision is not immediately apparent.

Is keeping the extra change you get from a cash purchase morally right? Maybe we should ponder this before the situation occurs.

To make this personal, what will you do if your employer tells you to do something that may be illegal but is shady, like buying a tool online knowing that your boss will send it back after you get that one bolt loosened? Maybe you should ponder this before the scenario happens.

Ponder Everything

The fundamental problem we all face is that we’re so busy that we don’t have the “luxury” of time, of stopping and thinking and rolling a thought around in our brains. Well, I have Good News, but it is probably not what you think.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 Emphasis added

It’s not enough to think about a decision, we must test the possibilities and select the one that is the will of God. We are to test everything we do, every decision we make, and every word we speak. Our Father is pleased when we ponder to search out His will, to plan and be prepared to represent Christ in everything we do.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s still some life remaining in that word ponder. I hope it makes a comeback soon.

Photo by That’s Her Business on Unsplash

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