Like many others, you are considering resolutions for 2019. You know the typical ones: exercise more, lose weight, spend less, stop shouting swear words at your children, etc. Just kidding on that last one, unless you actually do cuss your kids on a regular basis. If you do, stop it, or at least cut back a little.
So, now that some of you with a potty mouth have been pointed out, let’s get on with the blog post. May I suggest a remarkable resolution for the New Year? One that will only take a few minutes a day and can improve most every area of your life. What is it? It is reading one chapter per day of the book of Proverbs.
When I became a Christian in 1993, a wise man told me, “Son, you are an idiot, you should read the book of Proverbs; that might be able to help you.” Actually, that fine gentlemen told me that reading a chapter of the book of Proverbs each day would help a young fellow immensely. I tried it. He was right. I continue to do so to this day. The Proverbs are bite-sized truths that can transform us. If they can help me, then they can help anyone!
If you are up for a challenge, will you join me for the month of January in reading one chapter of the book of Proverbs? Beginning on January 1, please read chapter 1, then chapter 2 on January 2, and so on. As a help to you, I will post a short introduction to the next day’s reading that will share hints and helps for the next chapter. This will serve as a tail wind to propel you along. Are you in? C’mon, it’s better than counting calories and trying to be “keto.” And, it won’t make you hangry.
With that said, here is the map for tomorrow’s reading of Proverbs 1:
The book of Proverbs — written by Solomon, the wisest man of his time — focuses on gaining wisdom and growing in your relationship with God. The Proverbs cover many areas of your life: family, work, relationships, money, discipline, taming your tongue, etc. The Proverbs were written in the form of Hebrew poetry, which might seem repetitive at times, but the style was intended for impact and contrast. Roll with it. It’s like Old Testament-style Twitter: short thoughts, plainly stated, that pack a punch.
The book of Proverbs focuses on three types of people:
- The wise: they seek to honor God and grow in His grace and truth.
- The foolish: they are selfish and sinful. They only look out for themselves and want harm for others. The Hebrew word for these folks is pronounced “in-laws.” Hehe …
- The simple: they are not wise, but not foolish; they could go either way depending on their pursuit of God’s truth or hanging out with fools. Most of us fall into this category.
Before you read chapter one, commit those three categories of people to memory. Look for them in each chapter. As you read each day ask yourself which category describes you, your family, and your circle of friends. Trust me. You will see that a pattern will soon form.
In the first chapter of Proverbs, verses 20-23 provide great hope to us all:
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”
These verses paint a picture of God’s Truth standing in the middle of the city, at the frequent meeting places, and in the city gates calling out for us to listen, and grow in wisdom. These verses also link to a great promise in the New Testament in James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Here’s the take-a-way truth: God wants to provide His wisdom to us. It’s there for the asking, and receiving. Will you spend a few minutes each day reading one chapter of Proverbs? It could be your on-ramp to the road to wisdom. C’mon, let’s go. I’ll share a daily map for the journey. The map will point you down the path, make you smirk some, and also serve as a way for us to dialogue. Please post here and share your thoughts, what you are learning, and suggestions for upcoming posts for the month. My hope is to shape this in a way that assists you. Your feedback would be appreciated!
Blow the dust off your Bible, grab a cup of coffee, scream at your kids for the last time, and let’s get going.