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Proverbs 2:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 For Jehovah gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and discernment;
The book of Proverbs in the Bible teaches that godly wisdom is essential for living a fulfilling and successful life. Proverbs 4:7 states, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
Here are some reasons why we all need godly wisdom:
Making wise decisions: Life is full of decisions, and many of them can have significant consequences. Having godly wisdom can help us make wise choices that align with God’s will and lead to positive outcomes.
Navigating challenges: Difficulties and challenges are an inevitable part of life. Godly wisdom can help us navigate these challenges, overcome obstacles, and maintain a positive outlook.
Building healthy relationships: Relationships are a crucial part of our lives, and having godly wisdom can help us build and maintain healthy relationships with others. We can learn how to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and show love and compassion to those around us.
Growing spiritually: Godly wisdom can also help us grow in our faith and deepen our relationship with God. By studying and applying biblical principles, we can better understand God’s character and His plan for our lives.
In summary, godly wisdom is crucial for making wise decisions, navigating challenges, building healthy relationships, and growing spiritually. It is essential for living a fulfilling and successful life according to God’s will.
One way to become truly wise is by seeking wisdom from God through prayer and studying His Word. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
By seeking God’s wisdom, we acknowledge our limitations and our need for guidance from a higher source. Through prayer, we can ask for God’s wisdom to guide our decisions and actions, and through studying the Bible, we can gain a deeper understanding of God’s character and His will for our lives.
Additionally, we can also seek wisdom from wise and godly people in our lives, such as mentors or pastors. By listening to their counsel and learning from their experiences, we can gain valuable insights and perspectives that can help us make wise decisions and live our lives according to God’s will.
A BALANCED VIEW OF MONEY
The economic situation of Solomon and Jesus differed significantly due to several factors, including the time period in which they lived, the political systems in place, and the economic conditions of their respective societies.
Solomon was a king who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Israel during the 10th century BC. At the time, Israel was a prosperous nation with a strong economy that was primarily based on agriculture and trade. Solomon was known for his great wealth, which was largely due to the trade of goods such as spices, gold, and precious stones. He also established a centralized government and built many impressive structures, such as the Temple in Jerusalem, which further contributed to the wealth of the nation.
In contrast, Jesus lived during the first century AD, at a time when Israel was under Roman occupation. The economy was largely controlled by the Roman Empire, and the vast majority of people were poor, with only a small wealthy elite. The economic system of the Roman Empire was based on slavery, and the majority of the population was either slaves or working-class people who struggled to make ends meet. Jesus was born into a poor family and grew up in a small Galilee town where he worked as a carpenter.
While both Solomon and Jesus were known for their wisdom, their economic situations were quite different due to their respective times’ historical and social contexts.
Solomon, known for his wisdom, offered a balanced view of money and wealth in the book of Proverbs. On the one hand, he recognized the value and importance of wealth, acknowledging that it can provide security and comfort in life. For example, in Proverbs 10:15, he states, “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.”
However, Solomon also cautioned against the dangers of greed and the love of money. He recognized that the pursuit of wealth can be all-consuming and can lead to selfishness, corruption, and, ultimately, destruction. In Proverbs 28:22, he warns, “A greedy person is in a hurry to get rich; he doesn’t know when he will be ruined.”
Solomon also emphasized the importance of generosity and using wealth to help others. In Proverbs 22:9, he states, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” He recognized that wealth is a gift from God and that we are called to use it wisely and for the benefit of others.
A BALANCED VIEW OF WORK
Solomon’s balanced view of work is evident in Ecclesiastes 5:18-19, where he states, “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.”
In this passage, Solomon acknowledges that work can be toilsome and difficult, but he also recognizes the value and importance of work in providing satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life. He encourages people to find enjoyment in their work and accept the lot that God has given them, whether it includes wealth and possessions.
Solomon’s view of work is balanced in that he does not see it as an end or the sole source of fulfillment and happiness. Rather, he sees work as one aspect of life that can bring satisfaction and meaning, but only when it is balanced with other aspects of life such as family, relationships, and rest. He also emphasizes the importance of recognizing that our ability to work and enjoy the fruits of our labor is a gift from God, and that we should be grateful for all that we have.
Overall, Solomon’s view of work in Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 is balanced, recognizing both the value and the limitations of work in our lives.
Jesus frequently taught about the importance of putting God’s Kingdom first, and He emphasized the need to prioritize spiritual matters over material concerns. For example, in Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Additionally, Jesus often used examples from everyday life to illustrate spiritual truths, showing that the secular and the spiritual are interconnected but that the spiritual should take priority. For example, in Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus tells the parable of the sower, using an agricultural metaphor to teach about the importance of receiving the word of God.
A BALANCED VIEW OF OURSELVES
Solomon demonstrated a balanced view of himself early in his reign as king of Israel. When God appeared to him in a dream and offered to grant him anything he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge to lead the people of Israel with justice and integrity (1 Kings 3:5-14). Solomon recognized his own limitations and the importance of relying on God’s guidance and wisdom.
However, as Solomon’s wealth and power grew, he began to lose his balanced view of himself. He amassed great wealth and many wives, and he began to rely more on his own wisdom and advisors’ advice than on God’s guidance. He also became increasingly proud and self-sufficient, thinking he could handle everything independently.
As a result, Solomon made some poor decisions that had negative consequences for Israel. He heavily taxed the people to fund his ambitious building projects and oppressed his subjects with forced labor (1 Kings 5:13-18; 12:4). He also began to worship foreign gods, which led to God’s judgment on him and on Israel (1 Kings 11:1-13).
In Ecclesiastes, traditionally attributed to Solomon, he reflects on his life and mistakes. He acknowledges the emptiness and futility of many of his pursuits and the fleeting nature of wealth and power. He recognizes that true fulfillment and satisfaction can only come from God and that wisdom and knowledge are ultimately a gift from Him (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26; 12:13-14).
In summary, Solomon demonstrated a balanced view of himself early in his reign by recognizing his own limitations and the importance of relying on God’s guidance and wisdom. However, as he became more powerful and self-sufficient, he lost this balance and made some poor decisions that had negative consequences for Israel. Later in life, he reflected on his mistakes and came to recognize the ultimate importance of God’s wisdom and guidance.
Meditating on Jesus’ humble attitude can teach us many important lessons about how we should live our lives. Here are a few:
Humility before God: Jesus demonstrated a deep humility before God, recognizing that He was completely dependent on His Father for strength and guidance. This attitude of humility can inspire us to recognize our dependence on God and approach Him with reverence and humility in our prayers and worship.
Service to others: Jesus also modeled a humble attitude in His service to others. He washed His disciples’ feet, healed the sick, and fed the hungry, demonstrating a willingness to put the needs of others before His own. This can inspire us to serve others with humility and selflessness, using our gifts and resources to bless those around us.
Relationship with others: Jesus’ humble attitude also extended to His relationships with others. He did not seek status or power; instead, He welcomed and spent time with people from all walks of life. This can teach us to treat others with humility, respect, and kindness, regardless of their social status or background.
Grace and forgiveness: Finally, Jesus’ humble attitude also demonstrated a willingness to extend grace and forgiveness to others, even in the face of mistreatment and persecution. This can inspire us to extend grace and forgiveness to those who have wronged us, recognizing that we all need grace and mercy.
Meditating on Jesus’ humble attitude can teach important lessons about our relationship with God, our service to others, our relationships with others, and our approach to grace and forgiveness. It can inspire us to live our lives with humility, selflessness, and grace, following in the footsteps of our Savior.
Jesus’ teachings and example provide us with a powerful model for having a proper view of ourselves. Here are a few things we can learn from Jesus about having a proper view of ourselves:
Recognition of our need for God: Jesus constantly emphasized the need for humility and dependence on God. He recognized that we are all sinners in need of God’s grace and mercy, and that we cannot save ourselves or earn our way into heaven. This can inspire us to approach God with humility and to seek His help in all aspects of our lives.
Love for others: Jesus also taught that we should love others as we love ourselves. This means that we should value and care for others just as we value and care for ourselves. It also means that we should be willing to put others’ needs before our own and to serve them with selflessness and love.
Acceptance of our weaknesses: Jesus demonstrated a willingness to acknowledge and accept His own weaknesses and limitations. He did not try to present Himself as perfect or infallible, but instead, He acknowledged His dependence on God and His need for help and guidance. This can inspire us to be honest with ourselves about our weaknesses and seek help and support when needed.
Gratitude and contentment: Jesus demonstrated a spirit of gratitude and contentment in all circumstances, recognizing that everything we have is a gift from God. This can inspire us to approach life with a grateful and contented heart, recognizing that every good thing we have comes from God’s grace and mercy.
Overall, Jesus provides us with a powerful example of humility, love, and gratitude that can help us have a proper view of ourselves. By following His example, we can live our lives with purpose, meaning, and joy, trusting in God’s goodness and grace in all circumstances.
Here are some lessons we can learn from the inspired counsel of both Solomon and Jesus on how we should view money, secular work, and ourselves:
- We should recognize the value and importance of wealth, but also be cautious about the dangers of greed and the love of money (Proverbs 10:15; 28:22; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:10).
- We should use our wealth to help others and to advance God’s Kingdom, rather than just for our own personal gain (Proverbs 22:9; Matthew 6:2-4).
- We should recognize that true security and contentment come from God, not from our wealth (Ecclesiastes 5:10-15; Matthew 6:25-34).
- We should find satisfaction in our work, but also recognize that it is not the sole source of fulfillment in our lives (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20; Colossians 3:23-24).
- We should work diligently and with integrity, recognizing that our work is ultimately for God’s glory (Proverbs 12:11; Colossians 3:17).
- We should prioritize spiritual matters over material concerns and seek first God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).
- We should approach God with humility, recognizing our dependence on Him for guidance and wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 4:6).
- We should love others as we love ourselves, valuing and caring for them as we would want to be valued and cared for (Matthew 22:39; Philippians 2:3-4).
- We should recognize and accept our weaknesses, seeking help and support when we need it (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 4:13).
- We should approach life with gratitude and contentment, recognizing that everything we have is a gift from God (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20; Philippians 4:11-13).
Overall, the counsel of both Solomon and Jesus teaches us to approach money, secular work, and ourselves with humility, wisdom, and a focus on God’s Kingdom. By following their example, we can live fulfilling and purposeful lives rooted in a deep love for God and others.
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