I think if I had to go through life with a choice of having one book to read, without any doubt, it would be the Holy Bible. There is so much wisdom for living within its covers, but most importantly, it is the story of redemption through Christ Jesus, God's unending love for humanity, the crown jewel of creation. Inside of the Bible, the Old Testament, is a book of Proverbs that I try to read it every day. I was told years ago that Proverbs has 31 chapters, one for each day. If I were to read a chapter per day that I would have more understanding and wisdom for living. And I do believe that, it has helped me in working on staying clean and sober, and helped me help others, and I am very grateful for the advice. There is something that really bugs me about Proverbs. Every time I read a passage about the wise person and the fool, I seem to be the fool, or, have the fools characteristics. What's up with that? Here's an example:
"A fool vents all of his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." Prov. 29:11 (NKJV)
"Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him." Prov. 29:20 (NKJV)
I must admit that it really makes me feel foolish, no pun intended. I never slow down and think about these passages before I speak. I normally will say what's on my mind even if I'm blunt, or frank when talking with someone. And if I hear something on the news I don't agree with, or if someone says a statement as fact and I know its wrong, I tend to say "that's wrong, get your facts before you speak, okay?" Wow, who's the fool? I wasn't even invited to the conversation. Even last night at work, two men were talking and I butted in and asked, "who are you talking about?" So I then, after my mouth has already moved, vocal cords made the vibrations, prompted by my brain, then I remembered these Proverbs. A little too late, isn't it? I'm beginning to think my mouth is an involuntary muscle in action, or my thought process is much too slow. But this is the purpose of reading these daily. I would not have been aware of my actions without having read this godly instruction.
There are so many things that I have been able and look back on my life and actually see changes. Here's an example:
"Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." Prov.26:12 (NKJV)
I may seem like a know-it-all to some people, mainly if I have an answer to a question, but I know today how little I do know. I am well aware of my lack of wisdom in so many areas of life. One thing I do understand, God had to allow me to go through every moment, every heartache, and so much brokeness, to bring me from a life of alcoholism and drug use and sit me where I am today in Him. I have been unwise and wasteful with the life I've been given. God is so faithful! Every one of the Proverbs point me to be better in every area, and to really mature in my walk with Christ. Take the advice I was given. Read the Proverbs daily, or get them on audio to hear them in your car, or as you work around the home. Wear them out. Though you, like me may get perplexed thinking you aren't making progress, but keep it up. Don't tell yourself you don't like to read, take the few moments each day and become aquainted with real wisdom for living, God's wisdom. Thanks for reading, may God bless and keep you all, Keith.