Watch Your Step!

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Proverbs 4:26a

2015 Frieda P. Smith

When I was growing up, I do not recall a sign reading “curb your dog”. People with dogs did not walk around with little plastic bags, and bend over and pick up their dog’s bowel movements.

Back in the day, our neighborhood dogs—Dookie, Monk, Patches, Happy, Tippy, Peanut, Buster, Tara, and Peewee—were often unleashed, and when they were not chasing us, they pooped wherever they pleased. As a result, we had to watch our step, otherwise, we would discover later that we stepped in a pile of rancid dog doo-doo.

In our text that serves as the foundation of this inspirational message, King Solomon writes this word of wisdom in Proverbs 4:26a, “Ponder the path of your feet…”

For twenty-six years I was employed as a probation officer, and I cannot tell you how many times I sat across from an offender in the office or at the county jail who was crying because they were facing incarceration in State prison for being “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

My friends, if our young men and women will heed the advice of King Solomon, they will likely never see the inside of a jail cell. “Ponder the path of your feet…”

Watch your step!

It is very simple. Pay attention to where you are going, and whom you are going with. You have no business being everywhere with everyone, period.

In 1 Corinthians 15:33, the Apostle Paul wrote these words, “Do not be deceived. Evil company corrupts good habits.”  In other words, if you were raised to be a good person but start associating with evil people, their bad habits will rub off on you!

For those of you who think you know it all, let me enlighten you. Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, or guardians are right. Not everybody who smiles in your face is your friend! Your friends will turn on you when faced with jail time! It does not matter how tight you are—they are not going to jail for you. They will sing like an alto with the Rehoboth Singers before they will go to jail for you!

When the car is stopped by the police, whatever drugs your friends have on them is going under the seat!  At that point, guess who owns the drugs?  Everybody until someone claims them!  Therefore, everyone–including you–gets charged with possession of a controlled substance.  Do you think your friend is going to own up to a drug charge so you can go home?  Think again.  If he or she is going to jail, so are you.  Why? He or she is going to want a familiar face as a roommate in their jail cell!

If your friend gets arrested, whatever you are involved in, they will tell it to the police to avoid going to jail themselves (yes, they are going to snitch!). When you go to jail, they will not visit you. They will not mail you snacks and other goodies. They will date your girlfriend or boyfriend while you are incarcerated.

When you are released from jail, you will have a criminal history.  It is difficult for regular people to get hired; how much more difficult will it be for you?  Furthermore, you will probably have to report to a probation or parole officer, who will be in your business, breathing down your neck, and visiting your home on a monthly basis.  Was it worth it?

Listen to King Solomon. Ponder the path of your feet…

Watch your step!

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