Today we glean some more wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Here are a few thoughts from Proverbs 19 in the Message Bible.
Vs.2. Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.
Enthusiasm and passion are terrific but not without knowledge. Energy needs direction and focus. Planning on the front end affects execution on the back end. Ready - Aim - Fire. The 'ready - aim' steps are crucial.
Vs.3. People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed.
God gets blamed for so many things, yet much brokenness and even evil in the world is simply the consequence of human decision-making. In life, we reap what we sow. It's that simple. Our lives today are in many ways the accumulated result of choices we made yesterday and the choices we make today will determine our future. Decisions, not conditions, determine our ultimate destiny.
Vs.8. Grow a wise heart - you'll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head - you'll find a good life.
A 'wise heart' and a 'clear head' - good advice. That takes time and effort. It also requires solitude and reflection. These can't be developed in the midst of busyness and task addiction. Climb a mountain. Get above the noise and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Connect with God. Review your life. Check the compass (your direction) not just the clock (your speed).
Vs.11. Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.
Words are powerful. Wisdom follows the old saying: "Engage brain before opening mouth!" Who do you need to fogive today? Tear up those "I owe you" notes. Let it go. You'll be better off.
Vs.16. Keep the rules and keep your life; careless living kills.
God's commands are for our good - not to take the fun out of life but rather for our benefit. Like an owner's manual, we work best when we live God's way. That is true 'holiness' - living life the way God intended it to be lived.
Vs.17. Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.
The way we treat people, especially the needy, reflects our attitude toward God. Who can you be kind to today? What resources do you have that you could share with someone less fortunate?
Vs.20. Take good counsel and accept correction - that's the way to live wisely and well.
Once again, we hear the timeless advice of the importance of listening to counsel and taking in feedback from others. Who's speaking into your life? Are you listening?