Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get Wise

"I don't know what to do!" That phrase has left my lips more often. I hate not knowing what to do--because that used to be when I would do the wrong thing. For so long I floated through life, doing whatever I pleased and not giving much thought to long term. I don't live like that any more. One could say I'm growing up, getting older or maybe one could say I'm getting wiser.

Proverbs 1:3  tells us that in regards to reading Proverbs and seeking the wisdom found in it is "Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair."  Yes, I think it's safe to say I'm getting older and growing up AND getting wiser.

Rarely do I make decisions without consulting someone who is further ahead in life than me, rarely do I act without first weighing how it will affect my future and rarely do I speak without weighing my words. Rarely.

I'm human and with that comes a certain level of screw-up. But what separates me from who I am today verses who I was ten years ago is I'm not doing life on my own any more and I'm not allowing myself to say/do whatever I feel like, whatever comes to mind. No longer do I float on the boat of reckless. I might still have brief moments of visiting that boat, but I don't live in it any more.

Wisdom teaches us to live disciplined--which to a certain extent means you don't get to do everything you WANT. Wisdom also leads to successful lives. I'll take success over pleasure any day. The trick is to understand what I deem as success, what others deem as success is sometimes (ok, often) different than what God defines success to be. So I guess one could say true wisdom is not in how much you know, how much you can quote, or even how long you've done something...true wisdom comes when you stop living for yourself.

"I don't know what to do" leads to wisdom when we turn to God and allow Him to show us what to do. Then, regardless of what that looks like or how it makes us feel, we do it. 

My prayer for you...gain wisdom (read proverbs).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why Study?

"Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to turn from sin. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent." Jeremiah 5:3

The word repent has been crossing my path a lot lately and for me that's an indicator God is trying to get something across to me. So, I've begun to study the word repent. Yes, study. Not just look up the definition, not just ask my pastor what he thinks, not just read one verse with the word repent in it...but STUDY.

I don't believe we should EVER accept something as truth just because one person says it is. That way of living is dangerous for obvious reasons. But as Christians it's even more dangerous simply because opinions can blind truth. If you hold someone in high regard then your opinion of them may blind you so much you start agreeing with all they say, even if they are saying false statements. We must all do our own homework, researching those who have gone before us, researching for ourselves what God is saying to us through the bible, researching for ourselves each idea laid on our heart.

Studying takes time and patience. Often God speaks to us in fragments, to draw us closer to Him..to force us to go beyond the easy and really seek the Truth.

How are you doing at studying? Do you brush it off with "I don't like to read" or "I just don't have time for that" or "I don't understand it when I read it" or maybe you put in your few minutes each day so you can say "Yep, check that off the list"...here's my challenge to you (and me):

Step back and look at what area of life are you struggling with right now? If you had to sum up in one word something you think you need to work on what would it be? Is there a theme that keeps coming up in your life?  Now, after giving it some thought set you mind to study that area, that word, that theme. And then do it! If you have time for facebook and your favorite tv show and naps then you certainly have time to study because this type of studying will only make you a better person and I have a feeling we ALL want to be better people!

As for what I've discovered so far about repent, it means a WHOLE lot more than just saying "I'm sorry I suck so much." If you don't know what to study I highly recommend the word repent...maybe we can compare notes and together find Truth.