"The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out. Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? The righteous who walks in his integrity - blessed are his children after him!" Proverbs 20:5 - 7 (ESV)
Have you ever looked into a deep body of water? You can get lost in the vastness of it. If we are being honest with ourselves, I think we all want to live a life of purpose. That desire for purpose can seem a whole lot like looking into deep waters. You know there’s something down there somewhere but you’re not even sure where to start looking.
A person of understanding will draw out that purpose. They will not stop until they have pulled that purpose from the water. That's the difference between someone who is righteous and someone who just wants to appear righteous. The righteous person is willing to draw from the deep water and do the work to achieve their purpose in life. For those willing to do the work, Proverbs says even their children will be blessed; it is hard to find a faithful person.
"There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." Proverbs 20:15 (ESV)
What do you think has the most value in the world? A house? A fancy car? A giant diamond? Would you have ever put “lips speaking knowledge” on that list? I’m willing to bet that wouldn’t even make the Top 100. Solomon says lips that speak knowledge are precious jewels - gold or diamonds. Why? I think it’s because it’s hard to find lips that speak knowledge.
Materials are deemed precious (and expensive) because they are either hard to find or hard to produce. Someone who speaks with knowledge is also hard to find. In a world full of words, it is still hard to find someone full of wisdom and knowledge.
"Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good." Proverbs 20:22 - 23 (ESV)
Waiting is hard. Whether you are 6 or 60, no one likes to wait for something to happen. If I can't get something delivered with two-day shipping, I will find another online item to purchase. Waiting for God to fix some evil that has been done is almost impossible. Yet here we are reading Proverbs about waiting for God. It can be tempting to take matters into our own hands when someone has wronged someone we care about or even us. But we are not the ultimate authority in life and we are not the creator of the world. Therefore, we do not add more evil to the world; we wait for God.
While we are waiting, we work to make equal scales on earth. God has called us to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8b). When there is an injustice or an imbalance in the world when someone has their hand on the scale, they are lying or bearing false witness, we step in with correction and truth. When darkness seems to flood your space, walk in the light, and share that light with others. We do not add evil to the world; we use wisdom to balance the scales.
Reflect and Respond
What is your purpose? What has God called you to do in this life? Every day is a gift that we can use to bring God glory and share His love with others. Consider what it would look like for you to walk with purpose today and how living that out could change the outcome of your day.