February 17, 2014 by Chris French
This week on the blog we’re looking forward to this Sunday’s lesson. We’re in a great series right now called Straight Talk from Proverbs and each week Kerry speaks from a different Proverb. We’ve covered Adultery from Proverbs 5, Relationships from Proverbs 3 and Trust from Proverbs 3. This week the topic is Unjust Gain from Proverbs 1. If you missed the first three in this series I would highly recommend you taking the time to listen to them this week. The links have been provided.
As you read the opening verses of Proverbs you’ll see pretty quickly that Solomon is trying to instill the virtue of teachability in his son, and to us. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning…” No matter how old you are Solomon wants you to continue being able to be taught. In fact, if you skip down to verse 9 of Proverbs 1 you’ll see him describe the wisdom he’s trying to give his son as garland for his head and as a pendant for his neck. What does that mean?
Do a quick study of who was given pendants to wear around their neck. You’ll find two: Joseph and Daniel (Gen. 41.42, Daniel 5.29). Both were given to signify the importance of the person wearing them. Joseph and Daniel were both favorites of their rulers and very powerful people. Solomon promises that his instruction will dignify you, just as Joseph and Daniel’s pendant dignified them.
As it turns out Solomon’s right. If you study Proverbs and put his teaching into practice you won’t look like a fool. Most of us go back to empty wells though. We try to get respect and admiration in ways that don’t actually work. Go back to your list of people that wear necklaces and pendants and you’ll find toward the bottom of the list 1 Peter 3.3-4.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
The stuff we own and the way we look can not be what makes other people put us on a pedestal. Wandering how I can say that with such certainty? Look at all the Hollywood celebrities who have everything they want, including beauty, but when was the last time you admired Charlie Sheen or Eminem? When I hear those names the emotion I feel is not jealousy, but pity. Even though they have everything they could possibly want most of us wouldn’t trade places with them. So now we know that how we look and the stuff we own doesn’t make people admire us, and that the wisdom found in Proverbs is what should, there’s only one question left.
What empty wells do you keep going back to that you believe will make people admire you?