I have spent a considerable amount of time in Proverbs over the last few months, as we have been going through it with the youth group. As we come to a new year, I realize that there are many people resolving to do something different this year. Here are a few ideas from Proverbs that would really make a big difference in the world, if followed.
To Add Length to Life the Right Way- This is the time of year where people determine to eat healthier, exercise more, get more sleep or quit smoking. The hope is that their life will be extended and their life will improve. Who doesn’t want to do whatever they can to live longer? How many diets are there now? It is hard to keep track of them all. Of course, these are all good things, but there is a more effective way at having a better life. There is a way that lasts longer than the average resolution. It all comes down to knowing and obeying God.
“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. – Proverbs 10:9
“The fear of the Lord adds length to life.” – Proverbs 10:27
“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil.” – Proverbs 4:14
“Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teach as the apple of your eye.” Proverbs 7:1
All of these things work together and will be where your ultimate protection lies. I know that doesn’t mean bad things will never happen, but it does show that there is blessing and protection in doing things God’s way. The life of someone ignoring God’s ways can include some very risky behaviors that bring disease and heartache with them. Honor the Lord by obeying Him and only follow His ways and your life will reflect that physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Being Careful With Words Spoken- Imagine the difference in the world if everyone would just pay attention to what words are spoken. Now with the insidious nature of social media, it is easy to say things about others and ruin reputations. When it comes to words, you really can’t be too careful Be careful what you say.
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” – Proverbs 10:19
“Reckless words pierce like a sword.” – Proverbs 12:18
Make the new year a year where your words uplift rather than tear down. If you need some guide to help you decide if you should say it or not, you can use Ephesians 4:29 –
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”
Being a Person of Unrelenting Truth- Somewhere along the way people have told themselves that it is ok to tell little lies. But, lies are lies, aren’t they? If you are not completely honest with someone, are you honest with them at all? Honesty is hard, but honesty is essential.
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Proverbs 12:22
Make it a new year of truth in all areas of life. Honor the Lord and honor the other people in your life.
Self-Denial to Fully embrace Christ — Of course I want to be able to rely on myself and just figure things out as I go. That is not what God calls us to, though. Instead of leaning on our own understanding, we need to seek the Lord and trust His ways. We need to acknowledge him in everything, not just the big things. Keep this perspective will make a difference in the daily life you live.
Leaning not on my own understanding & acknowledging him in all my ways. – Proverbs 3:5-6
Pay Close Attention to What You Take In — In a world saturated with media of all kinds, it becomes essential to pay close attention to what you should and what you shouldn’t let in. Whatever you watch, listen to or do will affect your heart, if you aren’t careful. So, pay close attention to what you are dong with your time and don’t let just anything speak into your life.
“Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:2
These are just a few of the many that could come from Proverbs. Maybe there are others that you have in mind that would be a blessing to others. Please share yours here!