I'm sitting up in bed today, reading some powerful verses in Proverbs and I couldn't help but think that the world of the ancient times is in many ways the same as it is today. Yes, we got iPhones and sports cars, but people were just as foolish then as they are today, living lives focused on material gains and aspiring towards status & fame, rather than living humbly and seeking knowledge and wisdom.
The desires of our flesh were just as strong 2 or 3 thousand years ago. And reading these verses caught me by surprise, realizing that if more of us would read the Word, we'd certainly have been able to benefit from the instructions of wisdom outlined in the bible, and we'd be a far better society than we are today.
From my reading, I thought to share a few simple & practical disciplines that we can use to help develop and mature spiritually:
1. We need to invite ourselves to prioritize our reading of the Word daily.
By reading more of the bible regularly, we're going to be armed with practical instructions on how to handle our own life's challenges everyday. It's going to help us to gain the understanding, knowledge and wisdom we so desperately need to lead better lives. Believe me, we'll be armed to be better husbands, fathers and leaders in our society. Instead of listening to the foolish advice of brother man (your brother, bredren, pal, wife, mother, father, child or whoever else… you'll instead take God's advice, which is best).
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
2. Speak and act on positive thoughts and attitudes or keep our mouths shut entirely!
There are two Proverbs to share here:
Proverbs 10:19 – “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise”
Proverbs 10:32 – “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.”
Instead of getting into an argument and saying something that you'll surely regret, hold that tongue and remain silent. And before you or I go ranting off some curse words to the guy who drops the football today, let's give some thought to what's fitting as a christian, seeing that we're setting an example for others to follow.
3. Stop procrastinating and doing nothing proactively to better your life – It's Time To Get Active!
Proverbs 10:4 – ” Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”
This wealth doesn't have to be monetary. If you want to help your team win, you've got to work hard day and night to be a great player and contributor towards the goals you've got laid out. If you want to help your church grow, you've got to find a need and get active in helping them succeed at the objectives set. If you want to be recognized as the best employee, you've got to put in that extra time when everyone is punching out to go home and you've got to think smarter than the rest to be more efficient and productive.
Same goes towards God's kingdom. We all need to do more than come to church on Sundays for one to two hours and think that God's happy with us doing nothing else for his kingdom the rest of the week. Would your boss be happy with you if you worked one or two hours a week? Would your team be happy if you only practiced one hour for one day a week? Would you be recognized as employee of the month? MVP of your league? Probably not.
Let's work harder towards becoming better christians, by working hard each and every day to increase our wisdom.
4. We need to live our lives in service to our society.
Proverbs 21:13 – “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”
How many people are in need that you are blessed to be a blessing to? Again, this has nothing to do with giving a single penny in your pocket. This has everything to do with your talents and how wisely you use them.
Could we donate one hour a week of our time to help mentor a child who's orphaned? Could we cook a meal and provide it to a shelter for someone who can't afford to eat today? Could we pay the toll for the person behind us? Could we help an old man or woman get their groceries in their car, instead of rushing into our car to make it home in time for our evening webinar?
Guys, let's do a better job of using what talents we have to serve those in need. Let's teach our kids how to serve and be unselfish.
Proverbs 22:9 – “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”
5. Stop chasing the wealth in money & material things and start chasing the wealth of eternal life!
Proverbs 23:4-5 – “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold”
And with that, I wish you all a blessed week.