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A Thirty-one Day Challenge

Are you a ‘wise’ person?  I’m not asking about your IQ, your graduate degrees or corporate title.  Are you someone who ‘does life’ well?  Do you know the right paths, and do you have the courage and commitment to go those ways?  ‘Wisdom’ is different than ‘knowledge’.  Someone can be incredibly smart, know a great deal about everything, but still fall short when it comes to putting that knowledge into practice. Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied—knowing what to do, how to do it and acting on it.  It’s understanding coupled with execution.


One of my goals for 2024 is to grow in wisdom.  My plan (or challenge) includes reading through the book of Proverbs once a month for the next twelve months.  Since this section of the Bible is broken up into thirty-one chapters, it’s simple to cover one chapter each day of the month. Filled with repeated words of wisdom, Proverbs reveals the right paths for everyday life, covering topics such as: work, friendship, marriage, children, speech, and responding to the needs of others.  Though written in ancient times, these words are appropriate for all ages. 


Here are a few of my favorites with my own brief comments added:


* Hey, fellow procrastinators: “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provision in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Pr. 6:6-8). 


* Be self aware.  Know what’s going on in your inner being: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Pr. 4:23).


* Enjoy your marriage.  It gets sweeter with age: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth…may you ever be intoxicated with her love” (Pr. 5:18-19).


* True friends challenge each other: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Pr. 27:17).


* Arrogance eventually leads to disaster: “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor” (Pr. 18:12)


* Those who give, receive more: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”  (Pr. 11:25).


* Looking to God rather than myself is the best way forward: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Pr. 9:10).


In Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a woman calling out urging people to listen, reflect and put into practice what is true, right and good. “Blessed are those who listen to me (who keep my ways)…Those who find me find life” (Pr. 8:34-35).  If you’re interested in blessing and life (which most of us are!), try Proverbs for thirty-one days--reading and putting into practice words of life that have proven true over the years.  Soon, not only you, but also those around you will be blessed.

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