I’m big on preventive advice. We all need it. I think Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevention is the best medicine. I’m not alone in my thinking. Others share my conviction. It’s why millions take low dosage aspirin, get cancer screenings, go in for vaccinations, and drink a lot of water.
Preventive advice and parenting go hand in hand. You were raised on it. It’s why you can complete the following sentences:
“Look both ways…”
“Don’t take candy from…”
This week I did a lot of thinking about the Preventive Advice found in Colossians 2:8-10. As you can see from the chart below, these Christ-followers faced the possibility of being taken captive by the empty and enticing philosophy of their day that was built on Human Traditions and Human Teachings.
At stake was whether or not they’d continue to believe that Jesus is God and that the fullness of their lives was connected to the fullness of Christ living in them.
For in Christ all the fullness of God lives in bodily form,
and you have been given fullness in Christ,
who is the head over every power and authority.
So Paul strongly advised the believers at Colosse to watch out for humanistic teachings that could replace the supremacy of Christ in their lives. The outcome of walking away from the truth found in Christ for someone or something else would be a great loss rather than a gain.
Two Thousand Years Later
Our world today faces the same struggle. Probably even more so because of how the radio, then television, and now the internet have made so much more information easily available to us. We can simply touch a screen or remote and be enticed by the philosophies of human thinking and traditions, from anywhere in the world!
Fully aware of that, as our kids were beginning to make their way through high school we realized we wanted to make sure we had prepared them as well as possible to face the world once they were out of our home and away at college and life beyond. So we intentionally invested some extra time and effort in preventive advice.
Pancakes and Preventive Advice
I took each of them out to a late breakfast on a lot of the Saturdays throughout their senior year. We discussed a different topic each time: doctrinal truths, dating, engagement, church involvement, values, convictions, careers, time use, drinking, sex, priorities, spiritual gifts, money, safety and more. It was our way of giving our children some last minute advice and reminders before they faced the real world on their own.
You’d have to ask our children how much of what we talked about helped them in the years that followed. All we know is that they never walked away from their faith and they are now married to spouses who are also following Jesus, and they are now all seeking to pass along their love for the Lord to their own children.
A Prescription for All of Us
Much of what we discussed and talked about with our kids during those years can be found in our book Just One More Thing: Before You Leave Home. You might find it helpful, especially if you have children who are approaching their final years in high school (or are already in college!). It can be found here.
But even if you don’t have a need for the book, I’d urge you to give attention to the preventive advice that is found in God’s Word. If you stay focused on and grounded in the bottom line truth that is in Christ, you will avoid a world of confusion and trouble.
by Dave Gudgel