Tag Archives: wisdom

Perfect Timing

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

While Ecclesiastes may feel discouraging, it’s really not. It’s actually quite possible to find encouragement in the book. There is plenty of wisdom in it, and where there is wisdom, we can be encouraged.

Chapter three talks about there being a time for everything. There is a season for everything. It’s hard to believe or accept that there is a time for life and death, crying and laughing, love and hate, and a time for peace and war. But rather than be discouraged by this, what would happen if we embraced it?

Maybe what makes life difficult is not understanding the times. With that said, God knows the time for all of these things. It’s not up to us to figure it out or try to manipulate it, but to accept it. In accepting this, perhaps we can embark on a journey of peace about timing. After all, God has the perfect timing.

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The Invitation

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

In order to be transparent it’s important that we admit struggles. I’ve shared that the past month a part of me wondered what’s the point? I know there is one, but some days I just wonder why do we do what we do? It was a good time to read Ecclesiastes because this question is answered in those scriptures.

I’m human so I struggle. Sometimes I see the hurt and pain and wonder where God is? Which is probably a good time to read Job when this happens, which thankfully was another good reminder this week. In the end, Job (42:3) says, “I spoke to You (God) about things I know nothing about–too great for me to understand.” So, while that’s not always the most comforting thing in the moment, it can be comforting because it’s a reminder. There are things too great for us to understand. God’s ways are too great for us to comprehend.

I’m reading a book, and as an aside he mentions someone who was about to give up on their faith. They went to Rwanda and saw the devastation of genocide and were about to give up on God. In the moment, they heard the Lord say, this is what happens when people walk away from Me. This is what happens when love and compassion leave a place.

That was what I needed. I needed to remember this truth: When God isn’t invited into a situation, the hurt and pain we see are the results. It’s not for lack of love and concern from God. It’s from God being uninvited to intervene. Today, search your heart, and ask God to reveal any areas that you haven’t given Him an invitation. I truly believe we will start to see some things change when we do this.

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Ecclesiastes 2 – Futility of Work

I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. – Ecclesiastes 2:18‭-‬20 NLT

The Teacher has sought solace in work. Now, let’s be clear about this, work is a good thing. Work is a holy thing because God did it. This book is not telling you that work is bad because it’s not. What is bad is finding your life’s purpose only in work.

The Teacher has worked hard. He’s trying to create meaning and purpose in life from work alone, and now that he’s had his work accomplishments, he’s reflecting on how meaningless they are. After all his hard work, one day, he will die. After he’s dead, someone else will take over what he’s left behind. And the same is true for us.

One day, we will die. Perhaps we’ll leave a company or organization behind. Maybe, like me, you’ll leave a classroom behind. And we don’t know if our successors will be wise enough to manage the work or foolish enough to banish working and responsibility. When work is your only purpose, that is a scary thought. When you work out of your purpose, that is a freeing thought.

If your only purpose is to work, then there is nothing to leave behind and certainly nothing you can take with you. But if you find purpose in your work, you can begin to leave a legacy behind.

Why was work meaningless? Because work by itself can’t give you God’s eternal purpose for you.

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Ecclesiastes 2

Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
Ecclesiastes 2:10‭-‬11 NLT

Solomon is essentially saying that he enjoyed life. He had everything the world says we should want. He had servants, gardens, food, wine, resources, concubines, and wives. He denied himself no thing that we would deem pleasurable.

He even found pleasure in work, maybe even purpose in it (we’ll talk about work later). In other words, whatever he wanted, he had. Whatever he thought would make him happy, he had. No thing was off limits. Yet, in the end, he still had the same conclusion that he began with. It was all like chasing the wind.

It all brought momentary pleasure but no eternal value. It still left him wanting. So if pleasure didn’t bring a life purpose, he thought work might. Might it?

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Right or Righteous?

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. – Proverbs 21:21 NLT

I’ll share this, God has been working on me when it comes to righteousness. I’ll keep this post short because I will discuss the topic in greater detail in a podcast.

He’s challenging me to understand the difference between right and righteousness. When I say right, I’m referring to the desire to always be right. Not the inherent rightness of righteousness.

It’s no coincidence that the verse mentions the pursuit of righteousness and unfailing love together. Perfect love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), so righteousness can’t simply be about being right, it has to be more than that, deeper than that. See, true, godly righteousness pairs with unfailing love.

Jesus is the perfect example, right? Jesus is righteousness. Jesus is also unfailing love and its perfect example. Jesus, of course, was always right, but His pursuit was one of righteousness and unfailing love.

If you’re working to pursue the two, righteousness and unfailing love, you’ll find life, righteousness, and honor. In Jesus is fullness of life, righteousness, and honor. When you work like Jesus worked and pursue what Jesus pursued, you’ll be able to receive what Jesus has to offer.

So, how has God been working with me in understanding the difference between right and righteousness? Well, that’s a podcast chat, and I’ll just say it’s a humbling lesson.

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Advice and Instruction, Part 2

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – Proverbs 19:20

Yesterday, we talked about why we tend to resist advice and instruction. Today, we’re talking about how we can receive advice and instruction once we have the wisdom to know we really need it.

1) Pray. The Bible says God will give wisdom to those who ask Him for it. So, if you need advice and instruction, simply ask God (James 1:5). For everything that follows, godly wisdom is going to be the most important factor.

2) Read. This is one of my favorite suggestions after prayer. Read! You can receive so much advice and instruction through reading, in many cases, for free too!

3) Videos. While I do believe you need to break from media, it does have its benefits. You can find a lot of useful videos that are instructive.

4) Mentors. Get some wise people in your life who can guide you. If you’re the only one you’re bouncing ideas off of, that’s not good. You’ll often think you have a great idea or often think you don’t. Mentors will help you navigate your ideas and encourage you towards action or inaction for the time being. They’re invested in you and want you to do well.

5) Study. All of the above could be used as a form of studying. Study in order to receive good advice and instruction.

After all is said and done, do! Put all this advice and instruction into action. The evidence of wisdom comes into play by putting this knowledge into use. Once you’ve put in the work at the front end, why not continue?

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Advice and Instruction

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – Proverbs 19:20

This verse stood out to me this morning. It made me ask myself, why don’t we seek advice and instruction? A few reasons came to mind:

1) It’s humbling. To seek advice requires you to admit you don’t know everything. And even though we all know that’s true, we still don’t really like to admit it.
2) It requires effort. It’s a form of learning, and to be a lifelong learner means you’ll actually have to put forth the effort and work to continue to learn.
3) Comfort zones are comfortable. It’s more comfortable not to seek growth than it is to seek growth. Advice and instruction are about growing.

The good news is that there’s still hope for us. Because now that we’ve recognized why we don’t seek advice, hopefully we have the wisdom to know we should. Next, we’ll talk about ways we can receive good advice and instruction.

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Familiar Verses Podcast


Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. – Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NLT

If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for a while, unfortunately, it’s easy to gloss over this scripture. Or rather, it’s easier to just rush through and read it because it’s one of those scriptures that people quote a lot or one of the first ones people memorize. In this episode, I’ll discuss why it’s important to continue to put those familiar scriptures into practice.

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Clean Stables Don’t Bring Bacon

Why do we want work to be easy? I know I’ve wished that, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of it being work? I’ve heard people who are unfulfilled in their work say a few things:
1) I’m not passionate about it.
2) It’s overwhelming and stressful.
3) I’m bored.

Of course there’s been more, but let’s focus on the first two briefly and then the last one.

If you’re passionate about something, that means you’re willing to put in work. I believe passion creates a desire for growth, which requires work. Secondly, if something is overwhelming and stressful, then it sounds like it may be an improper balance of work, which may not be your fault.

Lastly, if people are bored, it’s usually the tediousness or repetitiveness of their work that causes it. While repetition in some cases is good, in others it can stunt growth and creativity. Some people are bored because they don’t do anything at work, and that’s not good for growth.

Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.- Proverbs 14:4 NLT

So yes, a clean stable may look nice, but it doesn’t pay well (unless your job is to clean stables). A clean stable likely means you don’t have any animals or work. Oxen will make a mess, but that’s the cost for work and a bountiful harvest that can provide for your family. Forgive my phrasing, but in other words, a clean stable won’t put bacon on the table.

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Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:20‭-‬21 NLT

Words are powerful. What we say can either hurt or heal someone. We can tear them down, or we can build them up. We can encourage a person or discourage them all by what we say.

One of the smallest parts of our body has the most power to affect others and ourselves. Our tongues have the power to damage or restore.

Today, take an inventory of your words. Do you use your words to say mean, hurtful things, or to motivate and heal others? We will be held accountable for idle words, based on what you say, that may be bad news or good news to you. I hope it’s the latter.

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