As parents, students and school officials gave advice at our son’s graduation, I listened for keys to godly success. There’s a lot to remember when you’re moving into a larger world with bigger opportunities. The grad in all of us needs to know there are certainties. How do we pursue success with integrity? In
In the verses following, God inspired Solomon to write the recipe for success with integrity. Envision your heart, your inner person, as your personal sanctuary. You’ve invited Jesus Christ the Son of God to take his rightful place as Lord, and there are gates you must guard leading into the sanctuary.
First, guard the lip gate.
Second, guard the eye gate.
Third, guard the foot gate.
Take only ways that are firm. If a decision has clear boundaries in God’s word, obey the boundaries. If Scripture isn’t direct about the issue, take it up with a few godly friends who can help determine God’s will according to his word. Just as it’s tempting buy an item because its well marketed, it’s easy to chase job opportunities, a higher profile or an appealing promotion. These might be good things, but are they clearly on God’s path for us? Martin Luther King, Jr. was enticed by opponents of the Vietnam War into pouring energy into the anti-war movement. But the task of achieving racial equality in southern and northern American States was still enormous. The movement, according to Linsky and Heifetz, bogged down and he was unable to devote enough energy to moving equal rights forward. (Leadership on the Line, page 38)
Don’t swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Guarding the foot gate requires disciplined personal intake of God’s word, trusting his promises when we’re tempted by other priorities. To achieve godly success we need to guard our hearts diligently by guarding the lip gate, the eye gate and the foot gate. Why do we sometimes struggle to guard these gates?
The Apostle Paul who wrote,“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am. Who will free me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (
He discovered the ultimate key to guarding the gates. We can’t live successfully without God’s deliverance and power. He wrote in
It’s said Edison, who invented the electric light bulb, failed many times en route to the discovery. One night he announced to his wife that he’d just finished the ten thousandth experiment. “Did it work?” she asked. “Nope,” he answered. “Aren’t you discouraged?” she asked. “Discouraged? We now know ten thousand ways that won’t work!” The good news is God’s Spirit empowers us to pay attention to his wisdom and to guard our hearts with diligence. Previous failures to guard the gates have no power to prevent us from a successful future with integrity. Pay attention to God’s Word and guard your heart.