Grape Vines (a confession)

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Grape Vines
A confession from my youth

Throughout the opening chapters of Proverbs, wisdom (knowing and using God’s
truth) is personified in the feminine voice and she cries out for our
attention (see Prov. 1:20 and 8:1-6). The foolish woman described in
Proverbs chapter nine represents the opposite, and her appeal includes the
empty promise that “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is
pleasant,” (see Prov. 9:17).

I offer here a personal illustration/confession from my youth. This is not
something I take any pride in, but I have no reason to believe I am the
exception to the rule – insofar as boys are concerned. Anyway, the
confession illustrates the point.

When I was about 11 or 12, I would venture into “the woods” with other boys.
We would find a comfortable, secluded place and smoke grape vines. It was
painful. Your lips would burn with pain, your mouth and throat would swell,
you would cough and spit … and talk about how great it was to smoke!

The attraction was not taste, sophistication or any appealing intoxication.
The attraction was, we were doing what was forbidden. We were hiding, in
secret doing what we were told not to do, and that was the adventure. You’ll
be happy to know I grew out of that habit quickly.

One sign of immaturity is, to find something attractive simply because it is
forbidden. In adulthood, it is also a sign of a lack of character. When our
character isn’t developing in the right direction (toward God, based on His
Word, honoring His Son), we are liable to find some things attractive simply
because they are forbidden.

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