Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 1:11
"If they say, 'Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause.'"
This is the talk of gangs. This is the temptation that reaches out to young men and wants them to prove their toughness. This is the type of seduction that relies on violence. While this may seem like a silly temptation to many who are reading this, it does not seem silly to many young men who are feeling their manhood and are looking for a place to belong. This would include gangs, mob connections, outcast teens, boys looking for "fun." Young men need to be taught and trained that gaining through violence is not the answer. It is a street that you can take and it seems like it is paved with riches when you first get started, but it doesn't pay off in the end. There aren't many old, violent men. Those that are still around are brokendown and or bitter. Young men need to be told this. We cannot just assume that they see this.
Just as Solomon predicted, there is a large percentage of the population where success through violence is a reasonable option. These young men must be taught, trained, and redirected or we will even be more afraid in our own homes and afraid to walk the streets. When violent young men take over the neighborhoods, no one is safe. All young men must be told repeatedly that violence is not the way to get ahead.
Notice that he says that the young man will be tempted to help ambush the innocent without a cause – just because you can – just because it’s fun – just because it’s profitable. This is a dead-end road. A few years on this violent path and you will not make it off.
It is amazing that Solomon lunges after this wrong road first as he deals with young men. He spends a lot of time – ten verses – on this subject of gangs and violence and its seductive quality for young men. Men must learn how to control their urges. Parents who are raising boys must teach them how to control their urges. If boys are not given a high level of impulse control, it will be disaster for society as a whole, them personally, and their family. We cannot throw boys away to this problem of violence. If a boy is allowed to get what he wants because he is violent, intimidating, or angry, it teaches that young man to succeed in the wrong way. This must be opposed by parents, teachers, clergy, friends, police, society, etc. Everyone must, together, help shape young men to not use their aggressiveness, brawn, and violence to get their way.