There are five things that comprise a wise, godly life. They function both as means to becoming wise and godly as well as signs that you are growing into such a life:
1. Put your heart’s deepest trust in God and his grace. Every day remind yourself of his unconditioned, covenantal love for you. Do not instead put your hopes in idols or in your own performance.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart.” (Prov 3:3-5a)
2. Submit your whole mind to the Scripture. Don’t think you know better than God’s word. Bring it to bear on every area of life. Become a person under authority.
“Lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5b-6)
3. Be humble and teachable toward others. Be forgiving and understanding when you want to be critical of them; be ready to learn from others when they come to be critical of you.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”(Prov 3:7-8)
4. Be generous with all your possessions, and passionate about justice. Share your time, talent, and treasure with those who have less.
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Prov 3:9-10)
5. Accept and learn from difficulties and suffering. Through the gospel, recognize them as not punishment, but a way of refining you.
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Prov 3:11-12)
For a number of weeks I have been spending time praying for these five things for my family and my church leaders. There’s no better way to instill these great things in your own heart, than to pray intensely for them in the lives of those you love.
– Tim Keller, Excerpted from Proverbs: A Mini-Guide to Life
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