What about those resolutions? Exercise more. Lose weight. Read the Bible every day. Pray more. Get 8 hours of sleep every night. It’s only January 3, and I’ve already broken at least one of these. No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep my well-intended resolutions. That’s because I’m trying to keep them–a recipe for failure.
This year I’m taking a different approach. I want to live wisely. After all, if I were wise, I’d take better care of myself physically, pray more, and immerse myself in God’s Word. That makes my “resolutions” outcomes of living wisely rather than end goals. What I desire is to respond to the Wisdom of God. Everything else will take care of itself in God’s timing and according to His plan. Wow, that takes off a lot of pressure for the new year!
The book of Proverbs in the Bible is all about how to obtain godly wisdom. I’ve been reading through Proverbs since New Year’s Day. Although a lot of the verses address the nature of godly wisdom itself (and the benefits of obtaining it), I am particularly looking for the specific instructions regarding how a person practices God’s wisdom. Turns out that none of these practices have ever been included in my typical New Year’s resolutions. That tells me that I haven’t always been seeking God’s wisdom in what I’ve decided is “best” for me.
Here are 10 disciplines I’ve identified so far:
- Practice repentance (1:23, 24).
- Honor God with my money (3:9).
- Practice acts of kindness whenever possible (3:27, 11:16-17).
- Don’t make false accusations (3:30).
- Abstain from violence (3:31).
- Abstain from “corrupt” talk (5:24, 10:18).
- Be faithful to my spouse (5:15-20, 7).
- Plan ahead and manage my resources carefully (6:6-8, 10:4-5).
- Work hard (12:11).
- Overlook insults (12:16).
I am praying that I will respond to God’s guidance and strength in my life so that I can gain wisdom through practicing these 10 biblical instructions. What would 2019 be like for you if these 10 things characterized your life?