Two words I love right now: point and wisdom.
Point: an end or object to be achieved
Wisdom: the fear of the Lord (Prov 1.7)
As I sit to breakfast each morning, I’ve been reading through the Proverbs, a chapter corresponding to the day of the month. This morning’s reading was incredible rich. I thought I would share the scribbles as we live our lives under the Gospel.
What do I want to be: (only by the grace of God since there is nothing good in me and I can’t do this on my own)
1. I want to walk in whole speech. See: Col.4, Dt 30.19-20, Eph 5. Titus 2 tells us to not be slanderers. In DeYoung’s book he lists Question 112 from the Heidelberg Catechism on the 9th commandment. This is the answer: “God’s will is that I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone without a hearing or without a just cause. I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it. And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.” More than that – I want my speech to always be gracious. I want there to be something in my speech that offers the grace of Christ to everyone I meet – in everything I say.
2. I want to have pure desires. I see this a lot in movies, in the lives of young girls, etc. They see something, they desire to have it, and they go after it without much thinking or prayer or seeking advice (see James 1). How many times have I done this? Let my desires be known and start day-dreaming about these desires without even really knowing what I’m desiring. I pray this directly over my thought life, my heart and mind, this morning over a pb toast.
3. I want to be quick to forgive. This weekend I hung out with a family with 3 young children. The mom said something to me, highlighting a grace trait of her eldest: he is quick to forgive, he shows me more of the gospel that way than I show him. We, as selfish and sinful people, long to hold on to grudges. I recount wrongs done to me in the past as a form of self-righteousness or illustration. In many cases, I have forgiven the person – but by this action I am not practicing #1 and I am not letting the person live in the grace of Christ and the power of the gospel (Rom 8.1)
4. I want to not be quarrelsome. When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, they usually got two answers: Barbara Mandrell or a lawyer. I can sing and I can argue. But, when I look at the traits for a wife, or even a child or Christian – we are not to be quarrelsome. I don’t even like being around quarrelsome people, its irritating and makes me shrink back and get quiet. I don’t like it. So, why do I allow it in myself.
5. I want to be prudent. I asked for prayer for this this morning in staff meeting. M-W gives the definition as skill and good judgment in the use of resources. This is very broad – but here we go: wise use of food, of money, of time, of brain function, of skills and traits, or relationships. All of these are resources. How are you being good stewards (another fave word lately)?
6. I want to be a listener to advice and an accepter of instruction. This is undergirded with having wise advisors. We shouldn’t take advice from everyone, because some will give us poor advice: (especially if we get all of our advice on family, relationships, food, religion from popular talk shows and magazines). On a plane one time I sat ready Redbook I think. Reading an article on relationships. I felt crappy after that – not wanting to even get married or ever have sex. (Note to self, don’t read this stuff). But, I got off the plane and called friends who spoke wisdom and encouragement from a God-bent that guarded me against the fiery darts of the Enemy. And I am surrounded by people now in life that speak truth and the gospel into my life at every stage. So, by being shaped by them and their impacting me with the gospel – I in turn change and shape and pour into others – by the Impact and in the strength of the Gospel.
7. I desire steadfast love. Jonah 2.8-9 has been on my bathroom mirror almost since I arrived in RDU. This has been something I cling to and desire to push towards (and most times doing a lousy job in some areas). I can’t cling to worthless idols and have steadfast love. God is SO GRACIOUS to me in this. I can not live up to His example. That is a good place for me to be – for me to know that about myself. He is the only one. I can push to live by the work of the Spirit to offer that steadfast love to others.
8. I want to REST SATISFIED (v 23). Striving, working, pushing, that is not rest. This tells me how I can rest satisfied: in the fear of the Lord. Knowing that God is God, I am not, I am sinful man, but He has made a way for me to know Him and be known by Him – the CROSS of CHRIST. And for that, and in that, I can rest satisfied. Even when I fail everyday at something. Christ has completed the task.