This Sunday, February 2, at Liberty Hill we’ll be continuing our series of “Living Wisely” as we seek to learn wisdom for daily living from the book of Proverbs. In preparing this Sunday’s message, one of the biggest struggles I had was what to leave out of the message. The more time I spend in Proverbs, the more I see how much wisdom I have yet to learn and develop. Since wisdom is so deeply entrenched in God’s character, it is as inexhaustible as He is. If I want to grow in wisdom, then, I need to be willing to go below the surface of the sayings of Proverbs, and understand the principles that are behind them. The more I learn there, the less I will have to learn the hard way by failing to live wisely!

And let’s face it: life has a way of teaching us some lessons the hard way. A simple example of this is what we may call “the law of reaping and sowing,” which means that the choices I make today have unavoidable consequences. The whole concept of “choice” is nothing black-eye-smiley-himore than the creation of consequences. In Proverbs, we learn a very specific application of this principle: if we seek to bring harm or trouble to someone else, we are only bringing suffering to ourselves. “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling” (Proverbs 26:27 – ESV). Whatever attitudes I unleash into the world will come back to me. Whatever situations I create with my choices have unavoidable consequences that come back to me, for good or for bad. Most of us have learned this lesson the hard way, in some form or fashion. I think that life would be much better if we learned it’s hardest lessons without having to suffer from the educational process! That’s why this Sunday I’ll be talking about the “Hard Knock Life,” and focusing on hard lessons we can learn from Proverbs instead of from experience. Come be a student along with us!

Grace Received,

Joe Payne