Summary: It is the simple things of the Christian life that determine our spiritual success. It is often the simplest wisdom that also pays the greatest dividends. It’s not rocket science!

Real Life Wisdom

(Proverbs 24:27-34)

1. Everyone has to make judgment calls, using what wisdom they have.

2. Take an event that happened this week. It raises the question “Where’s the Beef?”

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A bull escaped from a Philadelphia slaughterhouse and lead police on a nearly 5-mile chase through the city, including a visit to a high school. The owner of the Saba Live Poultry meat processing facility in the Kensington neighborhood said the 550-pound bull escaped from a truck outside the plant about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The bull paid a brief visit to Kensington High School. "He stopped at the doors and looked at his reflection in the glass, then ran toward Thompson Street," witness Pete Colon said.

The bull ended up on Interstate 95, where he was photographed by shocked commuters. The bovine was eventually cornered near the Interstate 676-95 interchange and was euthanized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

"Due to public safety issues and being in Center City Philadelphia, I was directed by a captain of the police department to assist them in putting the animal down for public safety reasons. We generally don't do this. We're wildlife officers, but in an extreme situation, an emergency situation, for public safety, we chose to put it down," game Officer Jerry Czech told WPVI-TV.

3. The police Captain used wisdom in making the choice, I believe.

Main idea: It is the simple things of the Christian life that determine our spiritual success. It is often the simplest wisdom that also pays the greatest dividends. It’s not rocket science!

I. PREPARE Before You Engage (27)

A. The temptation: to DIVE into commitments and worry about details later.

1. Sometimes God calls people to do just that (Abraham).

2. Without a clear call, spontaneous change is often risky.

3. Jesus’ Midrash: Count the cost!

Luke 14:28-31, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

B. Complex events require a SEQUENCE of prep steps

C. Pictures both a HOME and a HOUSE

1. Get SITUATED before starting a family.

2. First, get the FARM going and productive, then marry.

3. PLAN, acquire supplies, and orchestrate building a house.

It’s not rocket science!

II. Follow The Golden Rule, Not the LEAD Rule (28-29).

A. Speaking up in controversy: Is it NECESSARY and is it TRUE (28)

B. The Lead Rule is the rule of SPITE (29)

A woman decided to have her portrait painted. She told the artist, "Paint me with diamond rings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby broach, and gold Rolex."

"But you are not wearing any of those things," he replied.

"I know," she said. "It's in case I should die before my husband. I'm sure he will remarry right away, and I want his new wife to go crazy looking for the jewelry."

• Spite includes ideas like revenge, grudges, etc.

“What is revenge and what is bearing a grudge? If one said to his fellow: ‘Lend me your sickle’, and he replied ‘No’, and to-morrow the second comes [to the first] and says: ‘Lend me your axe’! and he replies: ‘I will not lend it to you, just as you would not lend me your sickle’ — that is revenge. And what is bearing a grudge? If one says to his fellow: ‘Lend me your axe , he replies ‘No’, and on the morrow the second asks: ‘Lend me your garment’, and he answers: ‘Here it is. I am not like you who would not lend me [what I asked for]’ — that is bearing a grudge. (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 23a)

C. God will even the SCORE

Romans 12:17-21, Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 2To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

It’s not rocket science!

III. Don’t Become a SLUGGARD (30-34)!

Laziness is not always bad. “Laziness is the first big step towards efficiency.” [Patrick Bennett]; w/out laziness, we would not make advances toward convenience Convenience and speed do not make us lazy; we just add responsibilities that fill up the new time we have saved…

A. There are multiple causes for apparent LAZINESS.


2. A health CONDITION

3. Old AGE


5. Proverbs addresses lack of self DISCIPLINE

B. Many judge others as lazy, but do so SUBJECTIVELY

• To a workaholic, anyone who is not a workaholic is lazy.

• Some people work all day, but they work slow, whereas others work hard to get their work done so they can relax and do other things…

C. SLUGGARDS do as little as possible.

• One definition of a laziness, “Signs of ambition, industry, and creativity absent…”

• “motivation to spare himself effort trumps his motivation to do the right or expected thing.”

D. Here, we see being a sluggard is a HABIT; sleep becomes an ESCAPE from responsibility.

1. People (good workers) but out of work for time become undisciplined

2. Discipline is very much about structure.

3. Remove the structure, and we are aimless, indecisive, unproductive.

4. Many careers require us to structure our own schedule (farming)

5. Not everyone can handle environments not highly structured (military)

E. Consequences of being a sluggard: DISREPAIR and POVERTY

It is the simple things of the Christian life that determine our spiritual success. It is often the simplest wisdom that also pays the greatest dividends. It’s not rocket science!

The deepest wisdom comes from being right with God through Jesus Christ.