Proverbial reflections

FullSizeRender (6)When you start the morning by reading from the book of Proverbs, you can get ambushed very easily.

You start thinking about your to-do list, laying out the projects you want to accomplish, feeling pretty good about the progress you are making. You tell yourself that. Then you look down at the open Bible on your lap.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” 

You turn back to the list, building more wisdom into your projects, more margin into your schedule. Instead promising more than you can accomplish, you get honest.

In your mind, you start drafting a social-media status update about the remarkable relevance of what you read this morning. It emphasizes the early hour, the regular practice you are doing. And your eye moves to the next sentence: “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Proverbs is not a story. You can’t read it with a sense of plot. It’s not an essay, not a history.

It is a collection of wise sayings that could trigger stories. They could end up as the moral at the end of a story. They can work their way into your decisionmaking for a day.

They could even show up in conversations with people, the kind where you are talking about what it’s like to be a pleaser. You are sharing about how often we do things, or don’t do things, because we are concerned about what people will think about us. And then you remember what you read that morning: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The proverbs in Proverbs may not be a story, but they can shape ours.

 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “Proverbial reflections

  1. Jon, thanks for these past two posts, they both struck home. You faithfully cast your bread out on the waters. Or seeds on the fields. These lips praise you, and praise God for catching my eye in the midst of email madness…

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