Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nuggets of Wisdom

Today I would like to share a few of the proverbs that have stood out to me as I continue to read through the book of Proverbs.

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. (Pr. 4:25-27; NLT)

Here we are reminded that it is important for us to keep our eyes on our goal and to remain on the path that leads to our destination. What is our goal? It could be phrased in different ways, but I think it is best described as becoming the person God created us to be, and that can only be accomplished through faith in Christ Jesus. We must keep our focus on Jesus and the way He wants us to live life.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. (Pr. 9:10; NLT)

This one has proven to be true in my life. The more I follow Jesus the more the world seems to make sense. I am not saying that I understand everything, but what I am saying is that what God is up to in this world continues to become clearer and clear. As we begin to understand what God is up to, then it is possible for us to join Him in what He is doing.

The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel. (Pr. 12:10; NLT)

You can judge a person’s character by the way they treat animals. This truth has been made more real to me over the past year because of my dog Barkley. The reason why I walk him and play with him, even when I don’t have the time, is because I want to provide for him a good life. A person pursuing the heart of God will treat all of creation with the right amount of respect.

Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. (Pr. 12:24; NLT)

Being a leader takes work. Last Thursday, April 16, I took my nephew Alexander out for supper. I did this because I wanted to affirm the decision he made in February to follow Jesus. One of the ways I encouraged him was to point out that he was a natural leader (like his parents), and I told him that he needed to continue to work at being a good leader by providing a good example for other to follow and by reading. Good leaders aren’t just born, they are developed through hard work.

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. (Pr. 13:20; NLT)

The direction of our lives are often determined by the people we choose to associate with. You can’t hope to be wise and respected if you hang out with fools and scoundrels. If we hope to be mature Christian people, then it is essential that we spend time with people who are mature in their faith.

Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! (Pr. 14:23; NLT)

It is one thing to dream and to boast about those dreams, but it is another thing to actually do the work to achieve those dreams. You gain no profit from a dream. Profit comes from the result of the hard work that is required in achieving that dream. I had better quit talking and get to working.

There are many more nuggets of wisdom contained in Proverbs (I will share some more tomorrow), and what I have been continually hit with as I have read through the book is who relevant they continue to be. These are bits of wisdom that generally apply to everyone regardless of the time or culture in which they live. We would all live better lives if we would take the time to apply some of this wisdom to our lives.

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