Sunday, June 24, 2012

Father Knows Best

The Lord has mercy on those who respect Him, 
as a father has mercy on his children.

-- Psalm 103:13

If you're a parent of a child who's old enough to talk, it's that three-letter question you probably hear several times a day. And of course, it's only natural for children look to their parents for answers. But as kids grow older, the tables turn. Rather than being the go-to for general knowledge and trivia, it's the parents' prerogative to evolve into their offspring's most-trusted resource for life-preserving advice.

(And whether the child asks for it or not is irrelevant!)

With this notion in mind, what's the best advice your parents have ever given you? Consider these nuggets of paternal wisdom culled from the Internet:

"Tell your son you're proud of him."
"Water ski once a year. Every year. No matter what."
"Leave the world a better place than you found it."
"Ask how this is preparing you for 20 years down the road."
"Never let a woman borrow your razor."

Maybe these fathers are on to something...particularly about the razor. That's because when life lessons come from a parent--someone who's been there and done that--the road gets just a little bit smoother for that young person who's first seeking his or her way in the world.

The Bible--particularly the Book of Proverbs--is full of useful advice from wise, God-centered people who traveled this same road of life centuries earlier. And their words to us today are not only utterly insightful, relevant and trustworthy...they're God-breathed.

It's when we finally take these holy words to heart that we begin a vital transformation process. And eventually, we mature enough in our faith that God shows us glimpses of His reality. Like an inquisitive child who's finally learned a lesson or two the hard way, it's then that we begin to see through new eyes.

Unfortunately, we're often slow learners. But our Father fully understood our limitations even before He created the Earth. That's why He had to fully reveal Himself to us by literally putting a human face on the Divine. He lived out the human experience in the form of Jesus Christ...even if we didn't recognize Him at the time.

"Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?" Jesus once asked His inquisitive disciple. "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"

Jesus' comments were a simple answer to humanity's ultimate--yet childlike--question. If we want to know the who-what-where and why of God, we must first know Christ. Like Father, like Son.

It's some fatherly advice to remember. Because He above all knows us best.

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