Life Reflections

by Pastor Dan

Back at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, I wrote some articles about some verses in Proverbs.  I thought it might be interesting to look at some more verses from Proverbs.  
It is interesting to me how God brings people into your life to help provide balance.  For example, I am very quick to think about and look at things one year, three years, or even longer down the road.  My wife, however, is much more a day-by-day type of person.  Even in ministry, I have noticed people around me that help look at daily needs and actions that I sometimes don’t see.  

King Solomon grew up around his father King David and saw that gap between the long-term vision as a king and the daily demands of the day-to-day management of the kingdom.  I have read this verse many times, and each time, it reveals a little bit more wisdom to my life.  It reads as follows: “He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor.” Proverbs 21:21  

On the surface, the purpose is clear (at least to me):  Put the important things first and everything else will work as needed.  Now, it is a wonderful thing when we see a principle reverberate through Scripture.  I am reminded of the words of Jesus, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
So, you see, there is a basic principle here that we can rely on.  For some of us, that is enough for us to believe that these words are true and that in these words lies a promise of God that there is a provision for us, end of story.   But wait.  There’s more!

I am working on a sermon series for this fall simply called:  Unplugged.  In the music world, unplugged means playing instruments acoustically.  But something that is much needed today is for us to unplug ourselves at times from our distractions like media, Facebook, phones, TV, Twitter, computer, etc.  It is hard to hear the people and the world right in front of you when you are engrossed in other things.
King Solomon saw distractions even in his growing up world and wanted something different.  His prayer to God is recorded in 1 Kings 3 where he asks God for wisdom as king to rule well over Israel.  God, in granting that request of wisdom, then tells Solomon that he will add much more because Solomon sought the right thing first.  Later in his life, Solomon writes his reflections in the book of Proverbs about what God did for him:  “He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness, and honor.”  

So what can we learn from this verse for our lives today?  I think there are at least two things we need to think about.  One:  Be very stingy with our distractions.  I think some of the issues we see in our world today are due to a lack of communication.  Maybe it’s just me, but I enjoy having conversations with others.  I don’t always agree with what they are saying or what they believe.  My responsibility is not to get them to agree with me but to share life with them and to leave them thinking about how to mature as a person.  Two:  Embrace those that are in your life that can balance you out.  We need to build relationships with those that can balance us out.  The large reason we don’t is that many times, we don’t know how to handle conflict.  Conflict is something we either run from or seek to avoid.  
I tell people all the time that a big issue with not hearing God is that we do not want to wait for an answer.  We run to God, and then after we have vented our problems and frustration, we run back into our day.  Try this - Every minute you share your problems with God, stop and listen for the next five minutes in silence.  You will be amazed at what you hear.  Then start treating your conversations with others in the same way.  Listen, and you will be able to help others, and others will be able to encourage you as well.  

Blessings to you,
Pastor Dan