What will Proverbs get you? It's a "holy mixture of common sense and timely warnings."
By Debra Torres I was sure that the man on the other side of the counter was dead wrong.
And we had it out back and forth until I left in a huff.
How could he be so mistaken, I didn’t know. I had my facts straight, I could tell you that much.
And if you were there with me, I probably would have – over and over again.
It wasn’t until later that night as I was going through the scene for the hundredth time in my head that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind one fact that I had forgotten about completely.
And a sudden realization hit me like a ton of bricks.
The man I was arguing with had been right.
I probably sucked in air at the thought of it. How could I have acted like such a know-it-all? Yikes, I had some apologizing to do.
Just this week, I finished the book of Psalms in my daily Bible reading and I turned the page to Proverbs.
I like this book written primarily by King Solomon who, after being asked by God which gift he wanted to receive, asked for wisdom and knowledge so that he could lead God’s people well.
Wow, who better to learn from than a man who’s got that kind of gift?
I like that Proverbs gives practical insight on day-to-day living topics like marriage, finances and parenting, And I especially like that it’s neatly packaged into 31 chapters. One for each day of the month!
A proverb is defined as a “short, concise sentence that conveys moral truth,” in my Life Application Bible. And the book of Proverbs, it says, is a collection of these wise sayings that contain a “holy mixture of common sense and timely warnings.”
Proverbs talks a lot about wisdom and understanding and says that these two principles should at the top of our “must have” list.
Long ago, I sat in a chapel service where the Christian Broadcasting Network’s founder, Pat Robertson spoke. I remember him telling us that his mother had prayed for him to have “wisdom and understanding” when he was a boy.
I didn’t really know about the importance of them up until then, but realized after Robertson spoke that they were good things to seek after, and now I pray wisdom and understanding for my own kids.
Solomon encourages us through the book of Proverbs to seek God for wisdom and understanding as if our lives depended on it.
And I think, as parents and grandparents, we have a responsibility to point our children to them as well.
In fact Solomon’s father, King David, coached his son on the value of wisdom so much that some believe that this is why Solomon chose wisdom when God offered him a gift.
A few days ago, the snow was deep in our yard when my daughter and I headed out to our garden to add to our compost pile. “Follow my tracks,” I called behind me out into the cold. On our way back, my daughter set out in front of me, and I marveled at the sight of her placing her small pink boots into the deep impression of my steps.
To each one she stretched, and I thought about the great responsibility we have as parents to walk the right path for our children to follow.
In Proverbs 3: 5 it says, “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.”
I think that when we lean on God for our wisdom and understanding, we can easily avoid the path of the fool or a “know-it-all.”
Do you have “know-it-all” times like I did with the man at the counter? I’m guessing we all catch ourselves playing the part of the fool from time to time. In Proverbs 1:7 it says, “fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
I’m going to follow in King Solomon’s footsteps and continue to ask God for wisdom and understanding for my own life. I know that it will keep my path straight and help reduce my know-it-all moments.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Proverbs 1:7 New Living Translation
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 2:2-5 King James Version
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.