This continues the series containing my thoughts (pensées) over the enigmatic yet highly practical book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 3 begins with the formula for success. Two ingredients are required: love and faithfulness. All of our moral duties may be summed up in love for God and for others (Mt 22:37-40) and faithfulness to our commitments and beliefs. Every other virtue seems to flow from these, as does the life that is successful.

I am told I must be skeptical about my own cognitive abilities and supposed insights (Pro 3:5-7). Neither are sufficient to warrant wisdom, or a truly objective view of things, Wisdom, the writer has already said, resides outside of me. It is in God alone. The object and focal point of my trust is God; not my own judgments independent of God’s counsel.

Having sought wisdom from God, blessing is assured and health is provided (Pro 3:8; 10; 16-18). But blessing sometimes exacts a heavy price in the form of discipline (Pro 3:11-12). If I remember that my response to God’s corrective wisdom depicts my relationship with him, not as judge but as Father, then it is easier to endure. God’s discipline is an indication I’m part of His family.

Nothing in this material universe is so valuable that it can eclipse the glory and worth of wisdom. It is “more profitable,” “more precious,” and “pleasant” than all the wealth in the world (Pro 3:14-17). In fact and wisdom not wealth is the fuel of creativity (Pro 3:19-20). Wealth may be the means of fulfilling my dreams, yet it can never be the source of them.

At the end of the day (and the end of a life) honor adorns those who have sought wisdom first above all else (Pro 3:35). That is the best eulogy one could have!

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