Wisdom Will Bring Spiritual Well-Being As Well As Long Life
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Solomon urges us to keep God’s commands in our heart. This is a calling to accept them as more than mere moral teachings or wonderful ideas. Ideas are worthless unless they are put into action. Solomon encourages us to embrace the teachings and commands of God and put them into action. When we do not put into practice the teachings of the Bible, they are like a sports team’s trophies put on a shelf, looked at in admiration, while the players gorge themselves in food, gaining pound after pound of fat, refusing to practice, and expecting to triumph over the team who has been diligent in training and practice.
By putting the teachings of God into practice, they will guard your life against many of the pitfalls that are caused by careless and dangerous living as God views such lifestyles. This is not a blanket guarantee that says that if you do A, then B will result. This is rather a generalization that, all other things being equal, will have the TENDENCY to prolong your life. Drunk drivers still kill people via vehicular homicide. Earthquakes and Tsunamis and Floods and other natural disasters occur. Yet over time, the commands of God will help a person to live in such a way that they will benefit their life with longevity.
Peace and Prosperity
When a person lives according to the commands and teachings of God, they will find themselves at peace with others (generally). There are always going to be people who, no matter what you do, no matter what you say, will have it in their heart to despise you, be angry with you, abuse you, torment you, and otherwise be in conflict with you. But for the rest of humanity that surrounds you, they will see a life lived in Godliness and will praise God for it, or desire the peace that you have. They will see the prosperity in joy that you have, even if God has not blessed you with financial prosperity. To the millionaire that is miserable, depressed, suicidal, and otherwise miserable, being poor and happy may appear to be a significant blessing. Money cannot buy happiness, nor even rent it. It can merely assist with some of our physical needs. But who needs to be concerned with that when God is sovereign, owns everything, and will provide for your every need?
Labor in Love
Love and faithfulness go hand-in-hand. Both love and faithfulness are commitments towards others. They are inextricably wound together, forming two strong cords that hold each other steady in the storms of life. God is love. We are to be image-bearers of God. To bear the image is to outwardly show the same characteristics. Since God is love, we too ought to love others in the same manner.
When we labor in love and faithfulness, we will win a good name in the sight of God and man. People honor the noble ones among us who labor for our good. Love does exactly that – it labors for the good of another. When we do this, we please God by obeying what He has commanded us to do. We also gain a good name among men who recognize the good that we do in the light and in the sight of God.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I embracing the wisdom of God so that it transforms my life?
A short prayer of preparation
Father in Heaven, You are able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine. And You give us a good name when we honor You by heeding Your teachings and wisdom through the practical application of them in our lives. Teach me to live according to Your will and Your way through Your word. Help me to embrace You in a greater way so that I can honor and glorify Your name before men. Help me to shine Your light before all so that they may see how good You are. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.