Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald lent his skills to the World War II efforts after coming to the United States in 1938. The military was looking for ways to protect its aircraft from enemy fire, so Wald and his colleagues at the Statistical Research Group were asked to figure out how to better protect military aircraft to defend against enemy fire. They began by examining returning aircraft to see where they were most damaged. But Wald is credited with the keen insight that damage on returning aircraft represented only where a plane could be hit and still survive. He realized that areas most in need of additional armor would be found on planes that had crashed. Planes hit in the most vulnerable part—the engine—had gone down and therefore couldn’t be examined.
Solomon teaches us about protecting our most vulnerable part—our heart. He instructs his son to “guard [his] heart” because from it everything else flows (Proverbs 4:23). God’s instructions guide us through life, steering us away from poor decisions and teaching us where to focus our attention.
If we armor our heart by heeding His instructions, we’ll better “keep [our feet] from evil” and remain steadfast on our journey with God (v. 27). We venture into enemy territory every day, but with His wisdom guarding our hearts, we can stay focused on our mission to live well for God’s glory.