30 Days of Wisdom // Day 16

Pure Plans

“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:1 - 3‬ (‭ESV)‬‬

I don't like to hang anything on my walls. I have trouble deciding when it’s straight. Plus, I don't want to take the time to measure, lay everything out beforehand and then put it up on the wall. It's easier to look at the blank wall and say, "eh, looks straight to me." In Proverbs 16, Solomon gives a similar example when he says "all the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes." From our vantage point, things look straight enough to pass the test. But God is not interested in how we see things from our point of view; He is interested in something much greater.

In reality, we are not always the best judge of what is right. God knows what is right and He is able to separate right from wrong every single time. If we commit our work to the Lord, the Bible says that our plans will be established and will prosper. It's not because we are great, but rather because we are submitting ourselves to the One who is great. He will give us the wisdom we need to accomplish His will for our lives. 

Silver and Gold 

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:16 - 19‬ (‭ESV)‬‬

Wisdom has a great value. It’s not something you can weigh or have appraised like gold, but it has an unmatched value. Solomon knew the value of wisdom; he asked for wisdom above anything else. If you want gold, you will have to mine for it. If you want wisdom, you will have to seek it without pride. Pride and wisdom do not mix. You would be living as a fool if pride were in the driver's seat of your life. Solomon says that pride will bring about destruction. These are serious words for something that seems so common in our world today. Pride is everywhere. 

Look around and you will see people acting out of pride and arrogance at every turn. From politics to the pulpit, and everywhere in between, pride drives people to make terrible decisions. Don't let your pride get the best of you; destruction waits on the other side. 

Gray Glory

“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:31 - 32‬ (‭ESV)‬‬

We live in a world that is just waiting on the next new thing. New cars, new computers, new tv's, and new cell phones … today’s new technology makes last year's device look antiquated. It's the way of innovation and growth; things get replaced on a regular cycle. However, there is something especially meaningful in a life well lived. The Bible gives examples of heroes of the faith that finished well (and many stories of people who did not). David, Solomon's father, was far from perfect yet he was called a man after God's heart. He continued to follow God, even into his old age. 

Gray hair is a crown of glory. If you are reading this and you have gray hair, congratulations! The Bible celebrates longevity and faithfulness. There is no fast track to faithfulness, and there is no easy button to righteousness. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Let's not get so excited about what is new and shiny that we miss what is mature and full of glory. New devices will come out every year, but a new phone will not help you be less angry. Righteousness is earned in the slow and steady work of faithfulness. 

Reflect and Respond

Are you invested in things that will last? Will you finish your life with a crown of glory? On the other hand, are you allowing pride to control your actions? Take a few minutes today to consider how you can invest your life so it will last beyond today.

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