It may seem silly, but intentional practices matter. They shape us. Figure out what works best for you; the key is intentionality. – Trevin Wax in This Is Our Time
As we’ve been looking at Proverbs we’ve seen that intentionality is one of the characteristics of a person seeking wisdom. I just began reading a new book that explores a number of cultural trends that draw us away from intentionally seeking God and wisdom. As I’m reading through today’s chapter I’m realizing how impatient I am. There is one more chapter of introduction before we get to the good stuff; the actual proverbs. It does seem silly to me that I’m not skipping ahead to chapter 10, but I’m trusting that intentionally reading one chapter a day in the order that Solomon wrote them will matter.
“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:32-36 NIV)
In the previous chapter, Solomon painted a vivid picture of the seductive woman. Going with her led to destruction and death. In this chapter, Solomon creates a contrasting picture of the woman identified as wisdom. Listening to her and following her leads to life. The seductive woman is brash and aggressive. It takes effort to get away from her. Wisdom doesn’t hide, but she doesn’t grab, instead, she invites. Wisdom invites us into abundant life while seduction hides death behind a veil of pleasure.
Any rational person given these contrasting images would choose wisdom. Solomon is still an example to us because in his youth wisdom is what he chose. Something changed his mind as life went on and an unguarded heart led to choosing seduction despite the wisdom he possessed. This is a heart issue, which means that it is a matter of our desires. What we want matters. What brings us pleasure matters.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NIV)
What brings you the greatest delight? What brings a smile to your face? If it isn’t God or God-honoring, then it is probably time to do a heart check.
For my grandchildren:
Delight in God and the good things He provides. Choose life.