Proverbs – Life Skills
The opening sentence in The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren, says it all. “It’s not about you.” If we take life seriously, like this Proverb of wise words says, and wrap our minds around who is really in charge only then can we begin to understand our created purpose.
“The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far grater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born BY his purpose and FOR his purpose.” (Warren)
We search for good. God IS good. We search for wisdom. God IS wisdom. We want a plan. God IS the plan. We want to know our purpose, that gives meaning to life. God IS the purpose that means everything and IS life.
Are we beginning to catch up to what God is saying to us? God is the one and only “I AM” who is in charge. God created all, and is in all. He created a plan with purpose for each one of us. God also has a plan for right living, to be at His best for His glory. When we fail in living right, God also created a plan, from the beginning of creation, for us to be forgiven, set right and be reconciled to Him when we sin. That plan has a name. His name is Jesus.
That’s why it’s not about you or me. Life begins with God. Life IS God.
Proverb 16, The Message
Everything with a Place and a Purpose
Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.
2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.
3 Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.
4 God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
5 God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.
6 Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.
7 When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.
8 Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.
9 We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
It Pays to Take Life Seriously
10 A good leader motivates,
doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
11 God cares about honesty in the workplace;
your business is his business.
12 Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds;
sound leadership has a moral foundation.
13 Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
they love advisors who tell them the truth.
14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.
15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
they’re like spring rain and sunshine.
16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money;
choose insight over income every time.
17 The road of right living bypasses evil;
watch your step and save your life.
18 First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor
than to live it up among the rich and famous.
20 It pays to take life seriously;
things work out when you trust in God.
21 A wise person gets known for insight;
gracious words add to one’s reputation.
22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water,
while fools sweat it out the hard way.
23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks;
whenever they speak, their reputation increases.
24 Gracious speech is like clover honey—
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
25 There’s a way that looks harmless enough;
look again—it leads straight to hell.
26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
hunger makes you work all the harder.
27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
their words smart and burn.
28 Troublemakers start fights;
gossips break up friendships.
29 Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;
they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.
30 A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;
a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.
31 Gray hair is a mark of distinction,
the award for a God-loyal life.
32 Moderation is better than muscle,
self-control better than political power.
33 Make your motions and cast your votes,
but God has the final say.
WHAT DO WE LEARN ABOUT LEADING OTHERS?
God’s leaders develop His characteristics:
–They motivate, don’t manipulate.
–Explain instead of exploit or exaggerate.
–Honest, sincere, transparent.
–Seekers of honest advice.
–Walk the moral high ground
–Inspire and invigorate lives
–Seek wisdom over wealth
–Ego is left behind.
–Gracious, kind, loving words of wisdom are their mantra.
–They give life to those around them.
God’s Leaders know Who has the final say. They are completely comfortable and confident knowing that He is in control and rely on this truth each day. This is faith and trust in the One who loves us most.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As we seek your wisdom, you are there to show us the way, your way. Thank you for teaching us through your word today with clearly stated characteristics that you are consistently developing in those who believe and want to grow and mature. Thank you for Your Presence. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your guidance. Correction means you care enough about us to lead us to your intended purpose for our lives. Thank you for caring. Thank you for saving my soul.
Life IS all about you. You are God and i am not.
In Jesus Name, Amen
INVITATION: A group of ladies, wanting to grow in Christ, meet electronically each Tuesday evening at 7PM via Zoom to encourage each other. We are reading a Proverb a day as well as reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. YOU ARE INVITED to join us! Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be given the code to come in. You will enjoy our lively discussions!