WHAT IS THE BIG DIFFERENCE?…Proverbs 22: 17-29

Bible scholars say that this section of Proverbs is very similar to common thinking in ancient times. They reference similarities to the ‘Instruction of Amenemope’, written in Egypt about 1250 BC.  Solomon himself lived about 950BC, so if there are commonalities,  it’s because these wise sayings were ‘in the air’, you could say.

These ’30 sayings’, beginning in Proverbs 22, seem like an expansion of the Ten Commandments.  Reading from verses 19 through  29,  we see many commands–like not robbing anyone.  Especially the poor.  Also, be cautious about going to court.  Don’t do it.  Then we’re told to lead separate lives…away from people with anger problems, vengeful types.  Stay away from those who drag you down.  Sin is highly contagious.  Proverbs says that such schemes and schemers wind up tied up in knots of their own making.

I’ve been trying to prove this wrong most of my life.  Still true nevertheless!  Moving on–be very careful with the things you own.  Take care of them.  They’re not ‘only things’.  And don’t get roped into co-signing for someone else, especially family.  Could cost you dearly.  Care for your own things, and don’t try to take someone else’s away from them.  Work hard…do your best.  Give it your all.  Apply what God has gifted you with…for others and for Him.  You’ll benefit as well.

There’s lots of good advice in this world of ours.  Lots to learn from many different sources.  This section in the book of Proverbs may be a close reflection of other’s wise thoughts.  But what is the big difference for us as believers?  Is there any?   It’s found in verse 19–‘that your trust may be in the Lord…’  Whatever you do in life, center it in the Lord.

When I was a financial planner for 20 years, I looked for opportunities to help as many people as I could.  Couldn’t think of any other way to make a decent living!  I listened to others–to their hopes and dreams and worries.  I listened.  And I kept looking for more people to help.  Also to share the Lord whenever I could.  Not hitting them over the head with my Bible.  Sometimes they’d ask me why I was doing what I was doing since I was no longer a pastor.  Good question.

Many times I became a pastor to people who had neither church nor minister.  And I could tell them about trusting in the Lord Jesus.  That’s the big difference in this world.  He’s the big difference. How big is He in your life?

Prayer:  Lord, thank you that we are yours.  Your children whom you love so much.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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