When it comes to the words that inspire us, we can all think of quotes by writers, rappers, and filmmakers. Words are important, powerful, and help us construct meaning in our lives. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to read a quote that makes you think “Yes, that is how I feel!” and “Yes, that’s what I think too!”
The Book of Proverbs is a collection of ancient quotations. It belongs to the category of biblical books we call the wisdom literature. It’s found right in the middle of the Bible, but we rarely think of the words in this collection as central to the wisdom in our everyday lives. Proverbs is often overlooked, can seem pretty dusty, and when read too quickly is a blur of cliches.
Let’s take another look at Proverbs. Let’s trust that there’s something here for us in our big life questions about how to be wise in relationship with our families, our bodies, our resources, and our power. Proverbs hands us a way to find wisdom in the ordinary. It’s about the art of living and seeing the beauty of God in the grit of everyday life.
Part 1 - Bobbi Salkeld
This week we talked about wisdom and isolation. The text we read in Proverbs depicts a young man who chooses the path of folly instead of that of wisdom. Through these poems we find that the path of foolishness leads to isolation— from God and from those around us. The path of wisdom, on the other hand, leads to life and blessing.
Part 2 - Bobbi Salkeld
This week we dove into what Proverbs has to say about wisdom and decision making, and we discussed what the path of wisdom might look like in our relationships to our family, ourself, our friends, society, and God. The proverbs that speak to us in the ways we need will open life up, so that we can see God’s presence in the most every day and ordinary things.
Part 3 - Bobbi Salkeld
The truth is, wisdom isn’t always our default— As much as we want to make great decisions and live well, we mess up all the time, in big and little ways, when we take a path that brings trouble. And this sort of foolishness doesn’t happen overnight… foolishness happens slowly. In our conversation this week we turned to the appendices of Proverbs, contained in chapters 30 and 31, to talk about the contrast between wisdom and domination. Wisdom calls us to use our power to honour those around us, and to use our voice to speak up against injustice.