The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction,to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth — Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
I’ve been thinking about Proverbs lately. About God’s book of general statements of wisdom. I’m grateful for the book of Proverbs, because it’s helped me to think through some very practical matters. What’s the right way to parent? What’s the right way to work? What’s the right way to speak?
I’m not old, and there are many ways in which I’m still foolish (I still often prize people’s opinion of me more than God’s, for instance). But I think the following observations I’m making are faithful to the witness of God’s Word. They’re in no way inspired, in that they are not breathed out by God, as the real book of Proverbs is.
But I offer them for what they’re worth.
A few personal proverbs, if I may:
- Young, married men and women: Have children. I’ve never met a Godly older man or woman who wishes they’d had less children, but I’ve known more than a few who wish they’d had more.
- If I have a really long list of people that I can’t stand, it’s worth asking whether the issue might be me.
- There is nothing I’ve personally encountered that better illustrates the folly of the human heart than the movement to support the right to abortion. “It’s not a life. No, we don’t want to look at ultrasounds, I said it’s not a life! And even if it is a life, a woman should have the right to end it. No, she shouldn’t have the right to end other lives, just this one. I’m not crazy, man, come on. She should just have a right to end this life. I mean if it’s a life. And we celebrate that in this country. Even though we want these things to be safe and legal and rare. We celebrate it! But no, seriously, I don’t want to look at an ultrasound!”
- Forgiveness will be as hard as your heart is.
- The fundamental problem with ISIS is theological, not economic or social. At root, they have a wrong understanding of the character and values of God. Everything else flows from those headwaters.
- Where the world is a system of people moving further and further apart because of annoyances and unforgiven wrongs and technological isolation, the church should model people moving ever and ever closer in intimacy because of a shared love as big as the Gospel.
- Bitterness requires entitlement as it’s fuel. You have to believe you were owed something that you didn’t get. Remove the fuel and the spark won’t catch. Replace the lie that you were owed something good you didn’t get with the truth that the only thing we were each owed is Hell, and bitterness won’t have any gas to keep blazing on.
- If you want to know how much a Christian man believes the Gospel, one way to find out is to watch how he treats his children.
- Remember, “father” is both a noun and a verb. And appropriately so.
Happy Wednesday, all!