“If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer”. Prov 9:12 NIV
Many people have learnt that getting educated, learning the wise and careful use of money, qualifying for a profession, acquiring a skill and “keeping your nose to the grindstone” are excellent ways to succeed – and to acquire wisdom in practical living. Following Christ enlarges and deepens life, and encourages hope, joy and peace of mind. These will also make you a more likeable person, probably more popular, and give you a wide range of skills and understanding of life. You will also grow more and become mature – a highly prized quality in an ever-increasingly complicated world. Proverbs says that you are the one who will get the reward for this kind of life. That is true but only partially so. Other people, in particular your family members, will benefit in many ways. You will be a better parent, a “well-healed” person, and a good guide to the younger generation. And your community could benefit as well as you partake in community activity.
It is also true that we belong to each other. Proverbs here suggests that if we turn away from all that is involved in wisdom then we alone will suffer. Yes, we will suffer – but we will adversely affect other people as well. Ask any person who has grown up in a family where the father was a heavy drinker, (or an alcoholic) and they will tell you the adverse effect this had on their family life and their own relationships and opportunities. God has placed us in life situations where everyone affects everyone else – both for better and for worse. Make sure your impact is a positive one.
Lord, help me to have a positive impact all round.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
I pray today Lord for those ministers who are carrying heavy workloads. Give them strength and vitality as they lead their flocks in worship today. Help them to feel a thrill as they look out on their congregations knowing that they are looking to their shepherds to give them spiritual food every Sunday. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN
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