The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
The prudent is defined as a person who thinks through what he does. He considers his ways, where the path that any decision he makes leads him. He is careful with his remarks that they do not come back to haunt him. He is discerning in regard to the friends he makes, the places he frequents, knowing that there is always what is below the surface to consider.
This does not mean that he is indecisive, always taking a long time to know what to say or do. Rather, he knows what not to waste time giving value to in making decisions. He immediately goes below the surface; he is quick to discern after-effects of his actions. And if he has trained himself for years in acting with prudence, then he becomes a very decisive person knowing by instinct what is right or wrong. And so his path takes an upward direction away from the Sheol of folly and disaster toward glory above.
This, of course, is because of his most prudent action of all – recognizing his inadequacy without Christ to save himself or to live a life of prudence. In Christ, he takes the attitude of the apostle Paul who wrote: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
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