Proverbs and Promises
This was originally posted on another site I decided not to continue. Instead, I’ll handle the topic as a category on this site.
I love reading about the great stuff God promises!
The promises are so positive, uplifting, and life affirming. When I read them (usually scrawled across a beautiful landscape) I feel I can do anything, and everything will be great!
But at times it seems some promises are not really “working” for me – very disappointing and even upsetting.
Two things I have found.
First, while all Proverbs are instructions for wise living, many are not actual promises. Sometimes hardworking people are poor, outstanding wives are mistreated, loyal husbands are unappreciated, and godly parents raise ungodly children. The wise still follow the precepts, but understand that we can’t demand certain outcomes of God.
Other proverbs echo consistent principles running throughout scripture, raising them to “promise” stature, which brings me to my second discovery. Many times I have focused on the promises while neglecting the conditions.
But God is unconditional!
Really? Is God unconditional?
God definitely loves unconditionally – So much that he sent his Son to take the punishment for our enmity with Him and make reconciliation possible. But even that free gift comes with a condition…the condition that we accept the gift, turn from our fight and become His loving servant instead.
Because God loves us and wants us to enjoy all He created us to be… He filled the pages of His message to us with all the great benefits of following His instructions.
So – as I review God’s words to mankind – I look for promises, then for conditions . . . and then the next (most difficult) step . . . being honest about the conditions.
. . . because I ALWAYS think I meet the conditions! The Bible says “commit your way to the Lord,” and I say, “Sure! I commit my way to the Lord. Done.” But is that really true? Did I commit my way? Did I even stop to consider what that means, or did I just want to move on to receiving that “straight path” I was promised?
We often lie to ourselves…not intentionally, of course. But we don’t want to hurt our feelings (and we want others to like us too). It’s just so much easier for us to believe that we ARE being and doing all the things that we WANT to be and do.
It has been very important for me to learn not to believe my own lies (more on that here). I hope you will join me in looking at some Proverbs and Promises in a deeper way.