16It's much better to be wise
than to be rich.
17God's people avoid evil ways,
and they protect themselves
by watching where they go.
18Too much pride
will destroy you.
19You are better off
to be humble and poor
than to get rich
from what you take by force.
20If you know what you're doing,
you will prosper.
God blesses everyone
who trusts him.
Warnings are not usually perceived as an opportunity. Instead, I often see them as an obstacle that is preventing me from experiencing something that I am very interested in pursuing. What if a warning was actually the opening of a path to a better way?
Imagine you were driving up a mountain and one of the roads on the mountain was closed due to falling rocks. Alongside that road is another road that leads up the same mountain. The new road may be different than that road you have gone on before. You could try and go up the road that you know – the one with the warning of falling rocks, but where you know the view is stunning and spectacular. Or, you could go up the new road that is safer, but where you don’t know what the view will be.
Which way do you go?
In today’s reading, we are being presented with a similar situation. Wisdom calls us to be open to receiving instruction, obeying God, and trusting God to give us an even more spectacular view than we could ever get if we went our own way. The person who takes life in their own hands is referred to as someone who is proud and filled with a “haughty spirit” – someone who seeks riches over integrity.
The road of riches and pride could still lead to a pretty good life. But what if the road that God is offering through his wisdom leads to something that is better than you could ever imagine? What if being humble enough to get God’s wisdom resulted in a greater prosperity than the prosperity you could generate on your own?
Today’s reading is a living example of a warning that opens the path to a better life.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
Father God, Today, I pray for your wisdom. I pray that you would search my heart for pride that is preventing me from listening to your instruction. Give me faith to trust you over what I can see and can control by myself.
Kirk Giles is Co-Lead Pastor of Forward Church – a multisite church in the Waterloo Region area of Ontario. He previously served as President of Promise Keepers Canada | Impactus – a global ministry equipping men for a life of purpose and godly impact. Kirk is married to Shannon and together, they have four adult children and two daughters-in-law.