Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” Matthew 7:13–14
Followers of Christ are called to take the straight way. Strait, a middle English word meaning a narrow passage, from the old french estreit meaning tight and narrow. The old French from the latin strictus meaning drawn tight. The closest modern English, strict. So then Christians are called to a strict path. But why?
Here is one example. From the fourth principle of the ten commandments, we see that reputation is a form of property. In the fourth commandment, God tells us to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Why? Why are we to keep it holy and what does that have to do with God’s reputation?
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11
When we keep the sabbath day we uphold God’s reputation. We are called to take a different path from the rest of the world and observe the Sabbath, we are a signal to the many that our God, the Creator, is real. This is just one way that one may or may not be called to take a straight path. To be different, not for the sake of being different but to the glory of God. I have come to believe that we are all called to different but each narrow paths. One to this, another to that, all headed the same direction of truth and goodness.
Darkness and light. Christians are called to be a light to the world. A city on a hill. Something people take notice of. Christians are called to be different. We are called to consider the things we do, the paths we take. Day to day there are things we do. Well then, why? Why do we this or that? Because everyone else is, so we figure it the right? The wide path is easy mind you. The way of the many. The thoughtless way. What decisions have we fallen into all at once like an ox led to the slaughter? God give us understanding so that we may keep your law and obey it with all our hearts.
When we stop and consider the things we do; what is true and right?, what is God’s will?, what will honor God?, what will bring glory to God?; we find ourselves a narrow path very much different the path of society.
May we all find each other on the narrow path that the Spirit calls each us to and may we all honor our God in righteousness and truth.
-A takeaway from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.