Proverbs 3 is a recipe for success, with humility and wisdom as the active ingredients involved in this delightful chapter. In this article, I want to highlight the key themes: a call to listen and follow the writer’s instructions, trusting in the Lord, the blessings of wisdom, and heeding to God’s discipline–and give practical examples that resonate with us in today’s cultural landscape.
Call to listen and follow the writer’s instructions is a recipe for success
The Bible is clear that when we heed to God’s teachings and obey His instructions, we will live a long life and enjoy the peace of knowing God. There are several reasons why obeying rules and seeking wisdom may lead to a longer life, and this is not just taught in the Christian scriptures but in other religious and philosophical traditions as well.
First, it can cultivate healthy living. Many rules emphasize behaviors that avoid harmful substances like drugs and alcohol and focus on the importance of exercising and eating well. Therefore, when you are obeying God’s rules it can actually prevent you from getting diseases and conditions that can shorten your lifespan
Second, as you know, rules and laws are put in place to protect individuals from harm. For example, when a light turns red, a car is legally obligated to stop. If they don’t, a traffic violation can occur–but even worse, they can injure themselves and others. By following simple rules, society can avoid accidents that could be fatal.
Third, it has been proven that when you seek wisdom and follow a moral code, you can reduce stress and anxiety. The Bible tells us to cast our cares upon the Lord, for his yoke is easy and His burden is light. Furthermore, a religious community encourages support that helps individuals cope with stress and other challenges that are difficult to face alone.
Trust in the Lord is a recipe for success
In the recipe for success of Proverbs 3:3-12, the author calls believers to trust in the Lord and not to rely on one’s own understanding. Why is it unadvisable to only rely on self? Because each of us have a limited perspective–there are experiences, biases, and knowledge we do not have so it’s important to gain resources outside of self to gain a broader perspective.
Moreover, all of us have blind spots that can impact our decision-making. I currently work on a team with Coldwell Banker. My leader is very good at breaking down complex ideas into simple truths. My other co-worker is gifted in understanding the contract and legality to real estate transactions. Without their input, I would make more inaccurate decisions.
Finally, our own emotions can cloud our judgments and lead us to making decisions that can harm us. When we hear from a non-biased perspective, it becomes more objective and logical than if we were to rely on inner emotions.
In Proverbs 3, God also teaches us to honor the Lord with our wealth. When my wife and I got married, I quickly noticed how she was tithing, and I was not. I made more money than her and yet I was holding back and not giving to the Lord. When we become stingy with our money, it shows us the false gods we worship in our hearts.
Therefore, as Christians, it’s important to use our resources for good. We can honor the Lord with our wealth by supporting local Christian businesses, investing in education for the youth, and donate to organizations that help others in need.
For example, Samaritan’s Purse is a fantastic organization that helps people who are victims of war, natural disasters, and famine. When Fort Myers, my town, got hit by a massive category 4 hurricane, there were many victims who lost their homes due to the flood surge.
One individual reached out to me and asked for help because her home was entirely caked with mold due to the flood. I connected her with Samaritan’s purse, and they were able to come out and help her clean up the home. What an amazing blessing to use your money for the glory of Christ.
Wisdom brings blessings and is a recipe for success
In the next few verses of a recipe for success in Proverbs 3, the author describes the value of wisdom as more precious than silver, gold, and precious stones. Furthermore, wisdom is promised to provide long life, riches, and honor for those who possess wisdom.
The reason why wisdom is considered more precious than gold is because it has a lasting and enduring value that is not dependent on our circumstances or material possessions. Gold is only temporary and can be taken from us at any minute. However, wisdom is within our hearts and can’t be bought or stolen away. Rather, it is acquired through experience, reflections, and a willingness to learn from both our successes and failures.
There is a true story about a woman who arrived home from work, and she had immediately noticed her home had been broken into. The thief took several valuable items, including her diamond necklace that her grandmother had given to her as a wedding gift.
This cherishable item made her heartbroken, not because of its material value, but because it was a symbol of her family connection–and now it was gone. She filed a police report but was pessimistic that anything would ever come of it. Fortunately, a few weeks later, a pawn shop owner gave her a call and said someone had brought in a necklace matching the exact description of the jewelry that went missing.
She found out that the woman who stole her jewelry was behind on rent and made a poor decision to steal instead of asking for help. Nevertheless, she decided not to hold a grudge and use the experience as an opportunity to reflect on why forgiveness is a key attribute all of us should work on. No matter how valuable our belongings are–they can be taken away instantly–but life lessons last forever.
Trusting in God’s discipline is a recipe for success
In the final verses of the recipe for success of Proverbs 3, King Solomon advises his readers to keep God’s commands in one’s heart and not be wise in one’s own eyes.
Being wise in one’s own eyes signifies an overestimation of one’s knowledge and opinions. This can lead to many potential setbacks such as: limiting growth and development, collaborating and cooperating with others, poor decision-making, and arrogance and pride.
I had a taste of my own medicine when I overestimated my ability to correctly fill out a real estate contract. In Florida, we have the FAR-BAR AS-IS Contract, which is a general contract that people use to bind two parties, and then there is a condo rider–required to show how much the fees and special assessments are. Both parties were already under contract, and I realized two weeks in that the buyer agent forgot to put in the names of his buyers on the Condo Rider form.
Looking back, I am glad I double-checked and had all parties initial the changes before closing, but it was still a good reminder to stay humble and double check your work. When you have an attitude of always learning and adapting, you will be set up for success.
In conclusion, Proverbs 3 highlights the importance of trusting in the Lord, seeking wisdom, and following God’s commands. When you obey God’s commandments, you will find true peace and prosperity. This recipe for success is what all of us need to incorporate into our daily lives.
This was very insightful, enjoyed the read
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