My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:1-4)
Gotta love a good quote from Proverbs. There is such a lot of wisdom packed into each chapter. At church – First Presbyterian of Brandon – we’re studying the Book of Proverbs both in my adult Sunday Morning class and my Sunday evening small group (Not so small as we now have 22 members!).
Sunday evening – which is my POGs group (Parents of Grads – we all have young-adult children) – we read and discussed chapter three. At the end, along with sharing our joys or concerns for prayer, I had each member pick one verse or thought from the chapter and make the commitment to meditate on the selection every day this week.
I picked the first verse, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep, my commands in your heart.” The reason I want to meditate on that particular idea this week is that I want my knowledge about God and about Bible content to morph into a deeper knowledge of God. That’s the “heart” part of the equation; it’s moving from reference to relationship.
Un-common sense: The Sunday morning class is further along in Proverbs. One participant commented on some of the truths highlighted in the passage by saying, “It’s all just good common sense.” She voiced an assessment I’ve often heard when studying the content of Proverbs.
“True,” I said. “But, unfortunately, I think it’s more accurate to say that what we’re talking about this morning is in fact UNCOMMON sense.”
Looking through the lens of God’s word is un-common sense…
Seriously, folks, think about the following truths (I’ll share just 5, all from chapter 3), and consider them especially in the context of current day politics and the way we approach our economy:
- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
- Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
- Wisdom… is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
- Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
- Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.
These truths stand without the need for commentary: Trust in God. Honor God with the first-fruits of our wealth. Wisdom is worth more than gold. Don’t withhold good when it’s in our power to act. Choosing violence is like envying the wicked.
Irony: Then, at the end of the day, another great friend – talking about the fact that doing the right thing and making the right choice doesn’t necessarily make life easy – made the following ironical observation: “Sometimes wisdom really sucks, doesn’t it?”
Taking the so-called easy road is at the root of many of our problems as a society. The wise understand that the right thing to do is still the right thing to do, even when it sucks a little bit.
Lean not on our own understanding.
Still learning to lean on God – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.