Proverbs 3: 1-12
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
Most of us want to do well in this life. We want to feel that we matter, that we are making a difference, or that we are achieving something. In Proverbs 3, a father teaches his son that a proper relationship with God is at the center of living a meaningful and prolonged life. In verse 6, we are told that in all ways we should submit ourselves to the Lord. All ways is a lot of stuff. As I pondered this verse, I was convicted of the fact that I everyday I make countless decisions without much thought of God’s opinion on the matter. The TV shows I watch, the meals I eat, the clothes I put on, or the places I go are often done without much consultation with God. Yes, I pray everyday for God’s protection, favor, and guidance. But I must confess that I could do a much better job of really including God in my everyday ways. I could do a much better job of contemplating how my ways will reflect on my God and my salvation. I could give more thought to making sure more of time is spent working for the kingdom and not just for myself. Even when I am doing ministry, I need to be more careful that the work being done will glorify God more than it will glorify me.
Sadly, we live in a time where even Christians spend more time living their lives according to secular principles and goals than the teachings of Christ. Far too many Christians are trying to fit God into their plans and not submitting themselves to God’s plans. This lack of true submission diminishes our opportunities to see the miraculous power of God.
In the next few weeks, before we commit to our decisions, let us imagine what God would say about them. No matter how small the decision may seem, let us take time to ponder their effect in our Christian witness and ministry.