Friday, April 24, 2009

More Nuggets of Wisdom

Today I want to finish up with wisdom I have gleaned from the book of Proverbs.

A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. (Pr. 15:14; NLT)

We live in an age where we have so much information at our fingertips. The sad reality is that most of us would rather feed our hearts the trash of entertainment rather than on God’s wisdom. I believe that if the ancients had the chance to evaluate our culture they would condemn us as fools because we have refused to take the time to educate ourselves.

Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor. (Pr. 15:33; NLT)

Since we are limited in our understanding we have to have the humility to defer to a greater authority. For the Christian we acknowledge that authority to be God. What I have discovered is that as I surrender my life God and follow Christ Jesus the greater I understand the world and my place in the world. Obedience to God provides me with the wisdom I need to live life.

The LORD demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness. (Pr. 16:11; NLT)

This reminds us that our faith in God is to influence every area of our lives. What is fair isn’t determined by what other people, but it is determined by God. One of the things that God demands from us is that we are accurate in our dealings with other people. Don’t try to cheat or mislead others, rather we are called to be honest and to live with integrity.

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. (Pr. 17:27; NLT)

It isn’t about how long we can talk or how many pages we can write, but wisdom is about making things understandable. For me, the goal of preaching isn’t about filling up a certain amount of time, but making God’s Word understandable and applicable. A person who is wise doesn’t get angry when he is questioned or a different opinion is offered. Instead he remains calm and gives a full hearing to what is being said before responding to it. That is something I need to work on.

Loyalty makes a person attractive. It is better to be poor than dishonest. (Pr. 19:22; NLT)

In this culture of consumerism this one is very important to remember. We use to value loyalty, but no longer, yet, we still long for people to be loyal. We want our favorite player to remain loyal to our team rather than jumping ship for more money somewhere else. We want our spouse to remain loyal to us, rather than to be on the look out for something better. Loyalty will set us apart and make us people others want to be around. In that same light, people will value you if they know they can trust you. Riches may earn you favor from other people, but integrity will earn respect from others.

The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. (Pr. 21:3; NLT)

We need to be reminded that what God expects from us are not church attendance, singing praise music, giving, or devotional reading. Yes, these things are good things, and in many aspects they are essential things, but what God is after is a transformed life. It is through the transformed life that He is able to touch the lives of other people. The best evidence that God is working in the world is the visible difference He has made in our lives.

There are many other nuggets of wisdom found in the book of Proverbs, I have only highlighted a handful of them. I hope that I have reminded you that this book of the Bible is very useful in our desire to become the people that God created us to be. It offers us the wisdom we need to successfully live as God’s people in the world.

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