Summary: ligning our life with God’s wisdom means integrating godly principles into who we are; we must be alert, catch ourselves, and evaluate choices in light of these principles.
Align Your Life: Godly Ethics for Daily Use
1. It is getting old, spending time in the basement because of tornado warnings.
2. Then there is the rain the strange change is temperatures. The weather through much of our nation has been difficult to contend with. At last count, 132 people perished from recent tornados in Missouri.
3. We had a Park Band Board of Directors meeting last Thursday, held in a law office across from the courthouse. I decided to walk in the rain. After walking half a block with my umbrella, I returned home for my rain coat. It had been 4 days since I had walked, so I was determined.
4. After the meeting, a board member offered to drop me off. He probably thought I was crazy, but I declined. I needed to walk, and if the weather would not adjust to me, I would adjust to the weather.
5. And that’s how wisdom is. We may have approaches that are foolish or wrong. We can follow those approaches and embrace those attitudes, but they will return to haunt us. What we want to do does not become the wise thing simply because it is what we want to do. Instead, we must adjust to wisdom.
6. The ancients typically embraced a deep love for wisdom. Notice an obscure verse:
I Kings 4:30 "Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations."
7. Wisdom literature like Proverbs existed 1,000 years before Solomon; whether rich or poor, slave or free, living wisely improves our lives and the lives of those around us.
Main Idea: Aligning our life with God’s wisdom means integrating godly principles into who we are; we must be alert, catch ourselves, and evaluate choices in light of these principles.
I. Consider JUSTICE When Making Decisions That Affect Others (5)
A. Partiality in JUDGMENT
• Leviticus 19:15, “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.’"
• The modern use of justice has been altered to mean socialism. When people speak of "social justice," they mean taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That may be the philosophy of Robin Hood, but that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that we respect the dignity of BOTH the rich and the poor, and that we discriminate against neither.
• Matthew Henry, "The merits of a cause must be looked to, not the person."
• The brain and objectivity
B. Grace to one means CHEATING the other
• Proverbs 17:15, "Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the LORD detests them both."
• It may be appropriate to be gracious to an offender in certain circumstances, but not at the expense of others
II. Control Your Speech or SUFFER (6-8)
A. Smart mouth is not SMART (6)
• My dad’s experience with drunk driving, never around when you need them…
B. Words are INFLAMMATORY (6)
• Joke about a wife doing a crossword puzzle… 3 letter word for female sheep… ewe… and that’s how the fight began!
• Once words are out, hard to take them back
C. Discerning when to speak and when to REFRAIN (7)
1. Example: Plot against Daniel (Daniel 6) and lion’s den (began with competitive spirit in jealous advisors complaining/emboldening one another)
2. The arrogant teens who made fun of Elijah’s baldness were devoured by bears in 2 Kings 2:23-25
D. Our interest in PEOPLE makes gossip alluring (8)
Leviticus 19:16, "‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people."
• We are to be our brother’s keeper, we are to look out for the interests of others, so keeping to ourselves is bad, not good.
• Charles Bridges wrote: "It is right therefore to ’bring an evil report’ for the prevention of sin…Serious evils in the church were restrained or corrected. But no good results can arise from the spirit of the talebearer, because with him it is pure selfishness, without a principle beyond the love of sin for its own sake." [An Exposition of Proverbs, p. 285].
• Some people live mundane lives, excitement from tragedies or failings of others
III. Be Careful What You Start, But FINISH It (9)
A. The issue here is FINISHING what is started
1. Derek Kidner writes, "Waster means one who lays waste, not who wastes time. ’The sage teaches that he who leaves a work undone is next of kin to him who destroys it’ (Oesterley)…"
2. To sink, relax, abate, cease.
3. Some lazy people do not start the work, typical slothfulness