One Year Wisdom Challenge

Wisdom is the God-Follower’s Fuel for Success

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Wisdom Challenge #15

Do you ever feel like life is so jammed that most of your brain space is filled with the urgent here and now? Then, in the moments when you take a breath, is your mind too tired to consider life’s deeper questions? Questions like:

How do I want to be remembered after I’m gone? 

Is there something I can do to help make the world better for my children and grandchildren?

Am I achieving my God-given destiny?

Questions like this stir in every human soul because God placed them there.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has “placed eternity in the human heart.” Instinctively we know that the attractions and systems of this world are to us like a boarding pass is to a passenger on a plane. Temporarily important but long-term useless.

Nevertheless, God housed our eternal souls in these temporary clay jars. It’s challenging to run our lives based on biblical principles rather than letting all that temporary stuff run them for us. The world lives in that dimension. God-followers are called to higher things. How do we live here successfully with an eternity mindset?  How can we be sure our lives will help make the world a better place for the generations after us?

For many years I had the wrong end of the stick.  I tried to do all the “right” stuff. with limited success.  I lacked some character qualities that I needed to do the right thing more consistently.

Things improved when I partnered my energies with God’s desire to transform me. Once we buddied up on the Sharon’s Character Development Project, everything changed. Here’s why.

 Character regulates thought, thoughts govern actions and actions shape destiny.

One of the foundational cornerstones the Holy Spirit uses to build a godly character, is biblical wisdom. Wise people live successful, purposeful lives that impact the world. That is why I’m spending 2021 blogging about Proverbs.  For May, let’s use Proverbs 26 which could be subtitled, “People Least Likely to Succeed.”

***At the end of the month, I’m releasing a new devotional, as a companion to this month’s study of Proverbs 26 entitled, “Our Children Deserve Better- Changing Our World Through Godly Character.” These meditations will look at qualities of God-following heroes who changed the world in astounding ways.  Please go to my website under “Wisdom Challenge Resources,” under the month of May to see a preview of the first day.  

Proverbs 26 contains a rogue’s gallery of misguided souls. Take the time to walk through carefully, pausing by each portrait. It’s tempting to dash through saying, “I don’t look like any of these people.” The other temptation will be to look at a portrait and say, “Oh, that looks just like, so and so,” keeping our examination outward instead of inward.

Let’s look at each portrait to see if we bear any resemblance to it.

Portrait One- The Fool

Featured first is a collage of images inspired by Proverbs 26:1-12.  They include a donkey, a person drinking poison, an unskilled archer and a dog eating his own vomit. (Gross.) Here’s how Solomon describes the fool, with my paraphrasing.

  • Their level of honor is the same as snowfall amounts in summer.
  • They are stubborn. To try and guide them towards wise choices is like pulling a donkey along with a bridle. No one’s happy.
  • They try to pull you into idiotic arguments. If you take the bait, you look like a fool too.
  • You can’t trust them with important information. It makes as much sense as cutting off your own feet or drinking poison.
  • If they do manage to say something wise, they don’t understand it and it’s about as valuable as a paralyzed leg and as dangerous as a drunk waving a branch of thorns around your face.
  • If you’re gullible enough to hire one of these characters, go ahead and also hire a beginner archery student then set him loose inside your company building for some target practice during business hours.

Does anyone else besides me notice that our society is currently populated with a lot of these folks?

Character regulates thought, thoughts govern actions and actions shape destiny.

 Truthfully, I found myself in there a bit. I’m not always great at listening to ideas different than mine. Did you see yourself? It’s best to own it and bring it to God, humbly. Do we really want people to shake their heads and roll their eyes after an encounter with us, not because we’re on fire for God, but because we’re an unteachable, undependable goofball?


Portrait Two- The Sluggard

This piece features a chaotic bedroom inspired by verses 13-16. Outside a window, the sun is high in the sky. A lion prowls the street. Dishes of moldy food and used tissues are on the dresser and nightstand. Dirty clothes hide the carpet.  Used bath towels and a couple coats are heaped on the bed. In the center of the bed, under a jumble of blankets, is a large lump. Behold the sluggard.  Where do I get all that? Solomon says, “Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.” If you are too lazy to get food in your mouth, I don’t expect that you pick up after yourself.  These folks leave a trail of mess and frustrated people behind them.

He tells us that this is the person who screams to the neighborhood, “Hey, there’s a lion on our street,” then does nothing else. This is the one you are always waiting on, because they didn’t get up on time, couldn’t find clean clothes, or their car keys or wallet, etc. Ironically, Solomon says they spend too much time in bed yet think they are smarter than everyone else. How’s that work exactly? Encyclopedias under their pillows?

I confess I found another glimmer of me in this one. I’ve been known to linger far too long in a good book when Holy Spirit is calling me back to work.  Did you find any part of yourself here, amidst the clutter?

Character regulates thought, thoughts govern actions and actions shape destiny.

The weakness or strength of our characters will determine our ability to accomplish the work God uniquely created us to do. It will determine whether he can use us as world changers. Great character and wisdom are inseparable. Will you read through Proverbs 26 on your own this week, just once, and see if there could be some character tweaking God might like to do? Next post, we will look at meddlers, gossips, and haters. Oh boy, my cheeks are getting red just thinking about it.

New posts will come out on the 2nd and 4th weeks of each month for now. God has impressed me to work more on quality instead of quantity. Releasing a devotional or Bible study each month is important right now, I think. If you want to follow my daily or weekly musings and memes that used to go on Facebook, come find me at Gab.com in the group, “The Great Awakening,” where I post my articles and others about the coming move of God, or you can find me on Pinterest at “The Pastor’s Feisty Wife.”

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