By CRAIG HARRIS
Proverbs 3: 1-12 (NIV): 1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
It’s not enough to hear good teaching, we must remember it. And the way to remember it is to do it. There’s an old saying, “Use it or lose it,” and it’s true, we tend to forget what we do not use. But we tend to remember what is important enough to us that we continue in it day after day. Jesus said we are wise if he hear his words, “and put them into practice.” Again, it’s a lifestyle of faithfulness, love and obedience to God that gives us success.
A proverb is a wise saying that is generally true. The Bible isn’t teaching here that you will live to be a hundred years old if you keep God’s commands. What it is teaching is that you will not sabotage your life and cut it short. It is teaching that you will not derail yourself as you go down the path of your life. It is teaching that, in general, we will live a long, successful life if we follow God’s ways.
So don’t forget to be wise. Don’t make foolish choices that you know will hurt you. Bind God’s Word around your neck and write it on the tablet of your heart – in other words, keep it close and don’t ever forget it. Memorize it; know it; don’t ever forget it; live it.
Trust God with all your heart – not half-hearted. Go all in and completely trust him. Then you will begin to see wisdom at work in your life. Respect and honor God with all your decisions and with your lifestyle. Yes, God will discipline us, but that is to make us better and stronger and wiser. And that’s a good thing.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel The Dead Peasants File are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Churches.