My child, if you truly want a long and satisfying life, never forget the things that I’ve taught you. Follow closely every truth that I’ve given you. Then you will have a full, rewarding life. Hold on to loyal love and don’t let go, and be faithful to all that you’ve been taught. Let your life be shaped by integrity, with truth written upon your heart.Proverbs 3: 1-3, The Passion Translation
By Serenity Beaumont, Spiritual Life Division Head
We are all entering into yet another season of our lives, both academic and personal, so let’s begin the year off reflecting together upon the words of Scripture. Over the summer, as LCA was recently awarded a Calvin Vital Worship Grant for the 2019-2020 school year (stay tuned for more information), we were encouraged to read one of the most prestigious and dense books of the Bible: Proverbs. It is certainly a book that never feels like a tedious task to read. Interpretation of Proverbs is, in all honesty, similar to solving a puzzle; it requires a vigilant pair of eyes scavenging for new and valuable principles for increased understanding. Regardless of its complex nature, it is a beautifully written book of wisdom that even though we might not be able to fully understand, we can still have an open mind to what it has to say.
I wanted to draw from Proverbs 3 in this devotion because these couple of verses contain very basic yet profound principles that we should strive to adhere to. The author King Solomon is one of many admirable father figures in the Bible as he originally wrote this book for his firstborn son, Rehoboam. Although King Solomon in his sinful nature did inevitable make mistakes, he was nevertheless an exemplary man of wisdom who originated as an unconfident yet faithful man of God. As displayed during his calling, when asked by God what he desired, Solomon acknowledged his lack of experience in leading God’s people and asked of Him “an obedient heart to judge His people” and “to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9, The Passion Translation). Solomon’s answer to God lacks a desire for wealth or absolute knowledge. Rather Solomon asks for the ability to make spiritually honoring choices which include the sifting apart good from evil temptations and distractions. This, in its simplest form, is the gift of wisdom. This conclusively led to the writing of Proverbs as he sought to guide others into, as Proverbs 1:1 states, “gaining wisdom and instruction” and to share with believers the way of virtuous living that pleases God, thus presenting his challenge for us, the whole LCA community, to live with truth, love, and integrity, and this year we should readily accept!
In this passage, Solomon implores his young wayward son to not just simply acknowledge truth, but rather to attach himself to these virtues and remain faithful as one can easily drift away from them. Proverbs, although it does seem to be, is not a catalog of ethical advice stated for thoughtless memorization and used for generic application. Rather, Solomon implores his son, and a broader audience, to generously utilize these virtues with consideration so they can affect our choices, strengthen our morale, faith, and our ability to walk undisturbed by temptations.
As we learn more about Proverbs in chapel this year, and as Mr. Lane, our chaplain, teaches us the messages and meaning behind various phrases and themes, we can start to apply them in our actions with the same consideration mentioned above. There are many features about our school and our community that can motivate us to serve and love others. The year will also provide multiple opportunities to exercise integrity and build truthful characters. Let Solomon’s words serve as a constant reminder for us to continuously seek wisdom, and as encouraged in our previous chapel, let’s use wisdom and be aware of how our actions are used to serve the Lord.
Additionally, because we are all wayward sons and daughters of Our Heavenly Father, let me, just like King Solomon, implore you all to have integrity at the forefront of your mind and the truth of God in the depths of your hearts and thoughts. Let the wisdom of God guide you throughout the year and lead you to an even more prosperous future.
Let us attain wisdom!