Summary: Wisdom for the Life’s Work Series: Wisdom for Life (Proverbs) Brad Bailey – August 12, 2018

Wisdom for the Life’s Work

Series: Wisdom for Life (Proverbs)

Brad Bailey – August 12, 2018


We are continuing in our series entitled “Wisdom for Life.” Wisdom is defined best as the ability to know how life actually works…and what is the right response for the many choices we make. The Biblical Book of Proverbs became a means to share divinely inspired wisdom for life. (In particular it is believed to have been written with young men in mind.)

So, we are drawing upon the Book of Proverbs to allow divine wisdom to speak to us on various areas of life. Today… wisdom for life’s work. [1]

I know that the very word “WORK”… may raise a little aversion.

Some may be thinking:

• “You know that “work” is a 4 letter word”…and maybe it’s one of those 4 letter words in your mind.

• Maybe your thinking… “How about “Wisdom for play… for fun …for sex?”

• Maybe your thinking: “It’s Sunday, the day I live to forget Monday. I come to worship to forget work.”

But… God doesn’t see life as separated. Every aspect of life matters… and has value.

We will spend much of our lives in various work…and it is essential part of our flourishing.

(On average we will spend about a quarter of our lives in a vocation… over 90,000 hours in life’s work… jobs.)

I believe God knows that life’s work has both value and vanity… gift now experienced in a world where oppression is at work.

God knows that many may feel that for some the basic relationship to work is: I need a job… I get a job… I resent a job.

To this… wisdom raises her voice.

Wisdom for the Life’s Work…

I have gone through the Book of Proverbs…and tried to summarize what I find as 10 basic truths which it speaks to us about. (For the sake of time we are going to hear 7 …but you will see three added at the end of your insert…and there are notes online.)

We will hear these well if we note a couple things…

1. I use the term basic truth… because they may not sound … new or novel. And that’s why it’s helpful to realize that some wisdom… “basic wisdom”… reflects that despite what we think we know… because we have heard it… doesn’t mean we have fully rooted ourselves in it.

As I get older… difference between hearing and heading.

Just because I have heard something doesn’t mean I have headed it.

It’s also helpful to remember…

2. The nature of proverbial wisdom is to state a general principal about how life works…not a formula. These are principles which will generally play out…amidst the varying circumstances of life.

They will clash with other forces…but they remain true nevertheless.

3. As statements that summarize life principles… they don’t involve expounding the details or qualifying the obvious exceptions. In this case that means they are speaking about how one engages life’s work with their given circumstances…and capabilities.

So let’s take a quick run through some divine wisdom for life’s work.

As we do… here is what I have found with serve each of us best: Ask God to speak to you about at least one point that may be most relevant. All 7 bear His divine wisdom… but I believe there is at least one which can be your timely reminder for this particular season of your life.

1. Work hard to provide well

Perhaps the most basic wisdom that runs through this guide to life is the very basic truth that one should work hard…that it pays to work hard.

Let’s take a look:

Proverbs 24:30-34 (NIV)

I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.

I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

Here we are introduced to the term “sluggard”… the English word that many translations use.

During college years… formed a communal house… my roommate was the highly disciplined engineer… humorously quote this verse when I woke up…

He found I could join the process…as finally one morning I was well prepared and responded with my own Scripture…

“Whoever blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.” - Proverbs 27:14

What a picture of this basic understanding of how life works… the one who is the sluggard…which means lazy…slacker… will have a world that is deteriorating… unable to sustain itself.

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