Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
Here is a recipe for those who want to know what it is and live in the fear of the Lord. Although the recipe looks simple at first glance it is not so when we look at it in some detail. At first sight, the prescription consists of four ingredients: restrain the tongue from evil, refrain from deceitful lips, stay away from evil and do good and seek peace and pursue it. The first ingredient, restrain the tongue from evil is almost impossible to achieve in this world where people talk and talk without end. Many think that if they talk pretty using convoluted and fanciful words they will be counted for wise when in fact the opposite is true for the more you talk, the more mistakes you’ll make. Additionally we have that people love to grumble and complain about everything and just for nothing and finally, people delight in criticizing others, ignoring the plank that they have in their own eye. Also, we have the issue of lies. Of all the seeds that Satan has planted in the heart of man the one that has put more roots is the seed of deceit. Everybody makes use of lies thinking they will resolve their issues and all they achieve is to dig themselves deeper into the hole.
Departing from evil by itself would allow us to go a long way in our path toward spiritual maturity but we know it is not easy to depart from evil when we are surrounded by it on all sides and our flesh is weak. How much more difficult to do good! Departing from evil is hard work, doing good requires a titanic effort from us. Finally the search for peace is not an activity encoded in the human genome, by contrast, we argue and fight for even the smallest things. We are never satisfied until we impose our ideas and our views on the ideas and the criteria of others. If we coming up with any of the four ingredients is difficult, imagine how much more arduous and tenacious it will be to put all four ingredients together. Through our own efforts we will never achieve anything. Only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives without restrictions will allow us to enjoy the advantages and benefits of living in the fear of the Lord. To God alone be the glory!