Wisdom and Life. It’s a great combo, don’t you think? But wisdom? Where do we go to find it? I’m sure you would agree that this is a pretty important question, especially if you are raising a family! Are there absolute truths we can trust, in the non-physical world in the same way we trust absolutes in the physical?
So many of our behaviors we never give a thought to, but we are constantly in motion and acting on absolutes in our physical world every day.
We set our alarms with plenty of time to get ready and be on time for work because we know that the clock keeps ticking. We apply heat to water and run it through coffee grounds. We take a shower; we feed the dog; we layer up when it’s cold outside (we’ve forgotten what cold is in Georgia!). We fasten our seat belts because it is the law and we really do believe in Newton’s first law of motion. And certainly we can’t fail to mention Numeroff’s first law of mice: If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk! =)
We are surrounded by absolutes. Absolutes and the knowledge and employment of them keep us, our cars, our homes, our cities and countries running smoothly.
When absolutes are respected and acted upon we get positive results.
We are on time for work (most of the time!); we keep our jobs; we enjoy a cup of hot coffee; we are clean; our dog is healthy and happy; we stay warm, and we are safe in our vehicles and avoid traffic citations.
Absolutes are not just found in the physical world though. The book of Proverbs is full of absolutes expressed in cause and effect statements and wise sayings about communication, relationships, roles, managing our resources, vices and virtues just to name a few of the topics you will find in this book of wisdom. Has it been a while since you reached out instead of in for the wisdom needed for living a good life? Proverbs 3:13-14 says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” Over and over in Proverbs we read imperatives and absolutes followed by the positive outcomes of following this wise advice.
In a nutshell, Proverbs instructs us along a path of wisdom: our will, acting on absolute truth equals a good life.
In the copy of Proverbs 3:1-26 below, I have highlighted imperatives in blue, references to absolute truth in green and the positive outcomes in red. After color coding it, I read the positive statements in red, and asked myself, “Does this express qualities I want to be true of my life?”. I would have to be 6 foot under not to want this for my life! The words in blue and green are clearly part of the equation and demand careful attention.
Setting my will in motion and acting on the imperatives and absolute truths is necessary to getting the results I want.
In my blog, Make the World a Better Place, I stated “Doing what comes most natural is passive, and results in a stagnant or declining state. Rising above what comes natural is proactive, forward motion towards something better.” I don’t know about you, but living in a mode of “forward motion towards something better” is a mode of living that I would like to get stuck in (stuck in forward motion! =) I amuse myself sometimes!).
So if you are feeling a little short on wisdom, there’s a whole book in the Bible devoted to it! The wisest King to ever rule the nation of Israel asked God for wisdom, recorded the wisdom God gave him in this great book and we get to sit on our comfy couch and read it to help us live positive and prosperous lives. How amazing is that! So if your response to the above question was anything like mine, the reading of Proverbs would be a great place to start yourself and your family on a path towards wise living! Please consider joining my family and me in reading a Proverb-a-day for the next 31 days and taking to heart and home the wisdom you will surely find there!
My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than [e]jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew.
21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 So they will be life to your soul
And adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will walk in your way securely
And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.
Thanks for reading!