I'm a mom. I have two daughters. Four and ten. I'm sure they can rattle off a list of my favorite reminders. Brush your teeth. Do your piano. Your shirt is on backwards. Your shoes are on the wrong feet. Finish your homework. Say Please. Sit here and listen with me to the Seahawks' post game news conferences My goal is to help them. I want to raise trained up, smart, healthy, Seahawks fans. I'm only kinda kidding. Gotta have priorities.
Proverbs. The proverbs are a grouping of sayings of wisdom. There are 31 chapters. Our pastor (and Dave Ramsey) say that a Proverb a day can keep the creditors, or the jailors, or the drama away. The Proverbs are NOT a good luck charm. I don’t buy the prosperity gospel. The Proverbs also do not stand on their own. Just like in football. You can have a favorite player for sure. But those fancy catches in the endzone by the flashy wide receivers only happen if the offensive line did it's job. This book works best in context with the full picture of the story. I'll keep repeating that line. By the end of this process of writing through the Bible I'm hoping that's on the list of things people learn. Each book works best in context. None stand alone.
God built the world with physical characteristics like gravity which, under most circumstances, operate in expected ways. Likewise, He built our relationships and our finances and our parenting and our jobs with the same expected characteristics. Under normal circumstances, when you apply X you get Y. Proverbs is the guidebook for general life skills. In general, if you work hard, you will prosper. If you cheat, you will eventually be caught. If you surround yourselves with jerks, you will become currupted. If you plan, you are more likely to be successful.
There are two major themes in Proverbs. The first is the idea of valuing and seeking out wisdom. The second is to keep before you the authoriy of God. When we spend our days trying to do the right thing – in valuing wisdom – and in healthy fear of the Lord- I’m telling you it works better for people. I'm sure you've watched friends who love the Lord continually bash their head against painful consequences because of unwise choices. I know we've all seen great pain at no fault of their own happen to people as well. Cancer and loss and accidents and violence. BUT. Even in those unfair situations the path to rebuilding a life is smoother when you apply the principals of wisdom.
Here's my quick list of to do's I really hope my girls learn from the Proverbs. Way more important than inside out shirts or untied shoelaces. Perhaps I should reassess how much time I spend on minor issues.
1. Honor God (We could probably stop the list here and be okay)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Prov 3:5
2. Guard your heart (Oh my girls. This one. Do this one. Watch where you let your heart go)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everthing you do flows from it. Prov 4:23
3. Stick up for other people (I'm never more proud than when I see this happen)
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Prov 31:8
4. Avoid Bad Company (Super hard to learn. Once. Then hard to forget)
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Prov 13:20
5. Watch your money (Save. Avoid debt. Sounds boring. Leads to way more fun.)
One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor. Prov 17:18
6. Work Hard (My parents liked this one.)
How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep. Prov 6:9
7. Tithe (It teaches your heart you have enough and reminds you where it all came from)
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. Prov 3:9
8. Forgive and Confess (They go together almost all of the time. Sometimes I have to forgive myself when I confess. Sometimes I have to forgive to be forgiven.)
Those who conceal their sins do not prosper; but those who confess and renouce them find mercy. Prov 28:13
9. Watch your attitude (Um. This one I preach to myself all the stinking time)
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov 17:22
10. Watch your mouth (It works better. And saves you great grief)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov 15:1
Gossips betray a conficence, but the trustworthy keep a secret. Prov 11:13
The book of Proverbs is not a magic book full of guaranteed spells. But is a fantastic guidebook to a life well lived. Truly I hope when my girls are grown they will remember these words of wisdom more than anything we watched on TV. Including the Hawks. Increase your odds of winning. Read Proverbs.
Hmmm.... Interesting! Check out this Read Scripture walk through of Proverbs. I never thought about it this way.
You might need one of these. She is clothed with strengh and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. My favorite!
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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