Grace Words

A Daily Bible Reader's Blog

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The Straight(er) Path

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 (Proverbs 3:5-6).

My first attempt at plumbing was a disaster. What my father-in-law assured me was an easy thirty-minute job (installing a garbage disposal) took all day – and several trips to the plumbing supply house and untold frustration. The reason he thought it was an easy thirty-minute job was that he had already done it – several times over the years – and knew how and what to expect. I knew neither.

It wasn’t just Roy’s personal experience that made the task seem easy. He also had a good teacher. As a young man Roy undertook to build a house. When it came to plumbing (something he knew nothing about at the time), his wife’s uncle (an experienced plumber) came and spent a week helping him. Without that help, the house might never have been finished.

The wise person recognizes his (her) limitations and brings in help. When it comes to the affairs of life, Solomon wrote that wisdom (knowledge that comes from experience) begins with consulting God. In fact, the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs begins and ends with the note that wisdom starts with God. And in the New Testament, James wrote: “If you lack wisdom, ask God.”

What does all this have to do with plumbing? Perhaps nothing. On the other hand, prayer that God might open my eyes to my own limitations would have been a good idea. Prayer that God might make me humble enough to ask for direction and help couldn’t hurt either, followed up with prayer that God might give me a receptive heart to instruction.

The result might have been a thirty minute job rather than one that took all day. Or, in the words of Solomon, a straighter path.

Friday, July 11. Proverbs 2 – 4

What do you want out of life?

Health? Wealth? Peace? The favor of friends but especially the Lord’s favor?

Proverbs chapter three provides us the secret to all these things and that secret is found in “wisdom,” knowing how to live well.

It begins with following the wise way. That’s not always easy to do. If you don’t believe it, just ask Solomon, who wrote these proverbs but who found following them more difficult than he could accomplish. It wasn’t (and isn’t) that wisdom was so difficult. It’s just not always the way we want to go, and therein lies the problem. It’s why its teaching and commands must find a place in our hearts – the residence of our “want to.”

The wise way pronounces the secret to the successful life: Trust God and follow his ways – even when they are difficult. Be a trustworthy person yourself, showing love to all. Honor God with everything you have and get.

It not a long list. But it is an important one.