Proverbs 9:6 – Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. (KJV)
Some think that truly being a Christian is easy, fun, filled with entertainment. And when it is looked at and celebrated in the proper way, that is very true. Unfortunately, many today in this nation do not know exactly what that means because they try to live in two separate worlds, one that is in the present and one that is yet to come, but they do not understand that one is filled with wickedness and death, the other filled with righteousness and life, and they cannot both be lived in. Many hold on to the things of this world and get as much of this world as possible instead of giving up this world and allow for them to be provisioned for by God. Many think because they have money, a nice car, a beautiful house, you know, the American dream, that God must really love them, and yet, it just may be the furthest thing from the truth.
One of the hardest things for any Christian to understand and to go through is the shunning of the things of this world (forsake the foolish); material things, sometimes family and friends(those who live in foolish ways), things we hold near and dear. The one scripture above (one of many) tells us clearly why.
A Christian is to strive, which means; make great efforts to achieve or obtain something, to struggle or fight vigorously.
So why is it that we have to give up these things? Well, we are called to be different from the world for one. “1 Peter 1:15-16 – but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”. We cannot strive towards holiness if we are living in the polluted things of this world. Look at the first word in the verse, forsake! To forsake (a verb) means that we are to do something, to take action. And in this case, that means we are to abandon someone or something, to renounce or give up something of value or that which is pleasant.
They must break off from all bad company: “Forsake the foolish, converse not with them, conform not to their ways, have no fellowship with the works of darkness, or with those that deal in such works.” – Matthew Henry
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'” Matthew 7:23 (NASB 1995)
As a true Christian, we must realize that this world is not our home, and not only that, this world is by God’s Sovereignty ran by the prince of darkness, Satan, whom God has allowed for a period of time to do as he (Satan) wishes. In fact, God will one day make a new heaven and a new earth and put everything back the way he intended. But until then, we are to forsake, to strive, to be holy as He is holy, and the only way we can even come close, is to part ways with that which is foolish. Will it be hard, yes. Will it be painful, yes. But in order to follow Christ, it is necessary. Again, we cannot be yoked to darkness and holiness at the same time.
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Romans 13:12 – “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
“Ephesians 4:22-24 – To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
I hope you are getting the picture now of what a Christian MUST DO, as these are words that we have today as Christians that those in the Old Testament did not have, and these words are quite clear.
But let me clearly say in closing, doing none of these things makes you a Christian, nor do they make a person saved.
A person is only saved one way, and that is by repentance of their sinful ways and turning to the cross of Jesus Christ. Where He was crucified and died for sinners like me and you, and was buried, and on the third day rose again, being the first of the resurrected unto eternal life, and those who put their faith and trust in Him, shall too be resurrected like Him unto eternal life. And by doing these things and living as the salt and light of the world, we will be handsomely rewarded.
Proverbs 13:13 – “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.”
Proverbs 13:21 – “Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.”