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Summary: Life is more than bowl of cherries, and God wants us to take life seriously. He gives us specific hands-on instructions about how to do this in his Word. Today, we will examine three principles that summarize how to get a handle on life as believers.

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Getting A Handle on Life

(Proverbs 22:1-5)

1. A middle school was faced with a unique problem. A number of girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirrors leaving dozens of little lip prints. This made the custodian very unhappy.

The principal addressed the girls and urged them to stop doing this because it created more work for the custodian. She also tried several other approaches, but nothing worked. Finally, the principal and custodian conspired.

She called several of the girls to the bathroom along with the custodian. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every day.

To demonstrate how much work they were making for the custodian, she asked him to clean one of the mirrors while the girls watched. The custodian took a long-handled brush, dipped it into the nearest toilet, and proceeded to scrub the mirror. From that day on, the problem of lip prints on the mirrors was completely eliminated.

2. Whether this really happened or not, I do not know. But it does illustrate the importance of being wise and practical — and knowing how to deal with people.

3. Most of life’s issues are more serious than this, however. Choosing a vocation, a school, or a mate, for example, have long-term consequences. Handling money or dealing with troublesome people stretch us and greatly affect how happy we are. Whereas wisdom does not fix everything, it is one of the most important tools to minimize wrong and promote right, to experience good instead of bad.

Main Idea: Life is more than bowl of cherries, and God wants us to take life seriously. He gives us specific hands-on instructions about how to do this in his Word. Today, we will examine three principles that summarize how to get a handle on life as believers.

I. Seek A Good Name ABOVE Riches (1-2)

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon refers to wise sayings as nails we can hang things on, hooks

A. More valuable in that it brings FAVOR

1. The Yiddish/Jewish culture recognizes two kinds of social people: machers and schmoozers

2. The word “schmoozer” sometimes implies manipulative, but it really doesn’t mean that

3. The mechanics of this seem to come from Proverbs 3:3-4 — Kindness and truth

4. Favor with both God and people

B. More valuable in that it brings RESPECT

1. What is the name of man who led Israel out of Egypt?

2. What was the name of the Pharaoh?

3. What was the name of the Savior who died on the cross?

4. What was the name of the Caesar, the Roman Emperor? (Tiberius)

C. God views the rich and poor as equal, so their REPUTATIONS distinguish them (2)

Webster defines reputation as, “overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general… a place in public esteem or regard…”

1. It is wise to plan ahead for a career — college/trade school/business

2. It is even wiser to develop character so you attain a good name


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