A Life-Long “To Do” List…part 1
Most of us have “to do” lists…whether we write them on paper or have them on a computer or a smart phone…most of us have these lists. It is always a good idea to do what is on the “to do” list. Proverbs 3 begins with a very interesting “to do” list that is, to me, a “life-long” to do list. If we do what the writer suggests we do, we will live a very fruitful life. We’ll look at two parts of the list today and three parts tomorrow. Let’s read the list and I’ll comment after each section:
My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; 2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.
If we keep God’s commands we are told that we will have long life and peace. As I’ve mentioned before in Proverbs, the book of Proverbs contains principles, not promises. Keeping God’s word at the forefront of your mind or keeping His commands doesn’t guarantee a long life but keeping God’s word will keep us away from a lot of things that do shorten the lifespan like addictions, stress, anxiety, etc… Also, the most peaceful people I know are those who trust in the word of God. This peace is possible no matter the circumstances of life.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.
I hope that you are a big fan of mercy and truth. Here we are told that if we keep mercy and truth in the forefront of our lives, we will find favor and esteem in the sight of God and man. Mercy and truth are a great combination. These words remind me of how Jesus is described in the first chapter of John’s gospel; “full of grace and truth”. You need both mercy and truth. If you have mercy without truth, you will have no spine. You won’t stand for anything and what you say will not be very helpful. However, if you only have truth and no mercy you will be viewed as authoritarian and mean. None of us can stand up to the bright lights of truth all of the time so we all need mercy.
So, do these two items seem like good things to add to your lifelong “to do” list? They seem good to me.