Right now we are facing some tough economic times in this country. Many are struggling, losing salaries, jobs,m and even homes. As a country, as communities, as families, as individuals – we have been affected. In such times, we look for “the good life,” but what defines this better life? Opinions can vary based on ideals, background, and opinions. Most will agree, though, it involves being happy, full, and free.
Solomon lived during times of prosperity and power. As king, he oversaw an expanded and wealthy Israel, but Proverbs 3:1-13 has him reminding his sons to live wisely regardless of their situations. He encourages them to lean on God more than others or themselves. He calls on them to seek spiritual wisdom over secular wisdom, and he admonishes them to honor God in their wealth and respect His reproof. In his prosperity, Solomon does not forget the Lord in his teachings.
The Spiritual Good Life
What elements do we expect to find in a good life? Here are some things the scriptures say about God’s word and its benefit on our lives.
- Long Life. We value living life to the fullest, lasting long enough to see children and grandchildren. Solomon says that following God’s laws can increase our days in Proverbs 3:2, but Deuteronomy 8:11-14 warns us against losing sight of God as time passes.
- Respect. We want those around us to like us. While human favor can be good, Luke 6:25 warns of the dangers of seeking worldly praise, but Luke 2:52 describes Jesus’ stature increasing in God’s eyes and in man’s. Proverbs 3:4 says wearing kindness and truth will bring us favor before God and man.
- Correct Decisions. Our choices define who we are and the wisdom and character others see in us. Joshua 24:15 challenges us to choose the Lord, and we see this choice in Moses’ life in Hebrews 11:24-26. These determined their paths based on their priorities. In Proverbs 3:5-7, Solomon instructs us to choose Godly wisdom to make wise decisions.
- Money. We need money, but we can fall into bad choices where money is involved. Ephesians 4:28 and I Timothy 5:8 encourage us to help others with our resources, and Proverbs 30:7-9 warns us against wanting more than we have. Philippians 4:19 ensures us that God will supply our needs, and Proverbs 3:9-10 reminds us that, if we are blessed, to remember to honor God in our blessings.
- Training. Correction properly given and corrected demonstrates care and develops wisdom and security. Proverbs 3:11-12 reminds us to accept the Lord’s correction as a child to a loving father. Revelation 3:19 says God reproves those He loves, encouraging us to repent and be zealous for Him.
If we are to obtain a spiritually good life, we should follow these guidelines. Regardless of our physical conditions or circumstances, we can live in and for God. We can make choices that strengthen us in Christ, that can demonstrate kindness and wisdom before others, that can bring us security and contentedness. We can be like Solomon and Joshua, remembering to seek and serve the Lord first in our lives.
lesson by Alan Miller