Live a life of wisdom rather than of simplicity

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You realize that as a culture we are probably too busy when the one of the most popular marketing words is "simple."

An Internet search of the word simple returns all sorts of products, solutions and methods to create a better life.

The word "simple" conjures images of less stress and more joy. The Bible, however, expresses a different idea of simple. Proverbs 1:32 reads, "For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them."

Simple in this proverb is not used to describe the ultra-easy in life, but it is descriptive of one who is a naive, immature person who will believe anything.

It describes a person who is more like a toy boat in an ocean storm. The boat gets blown this way and that way, always struggling to stay afloat and never knowing where it's going.

The simple are losing their lives because they would rather live in the dangerous environment without thinking about why they are there and how to get out.

This proverb describes the simple as turning away. The context reveals that they are turning away from wisdom. Rather than simple, tossed back forth, God has called his creation to live a life of wisdom.

Allow me to offer a couple of ideas on how to live a life of wisdom.

Realize where you are. What stage of life do you find yourself in? Single or just married with dual income and no children? Do you get mail from the PTO or the AARP? Knowing where you are in God's grace will help you focus on what will be different about the next stage of life.

Realize you cannot be everything. A full calendar does not mean a full life. You were not created to be everything for everyone. You have permission to say no.

Realize that you are the only you God has created. This idea may seem elementary, but it is foundational.

There is no other person with your divine makeup of personality, skills, gifts and abilities. The only one who can force you to be someone you are not is you.

God has called us to live wise, not simple. Living lives of intentionality, not chaos. Take some time to prayerfully examine who he has created you to be.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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