In a classic “Peanuts” comic strip, Charlie Brown turns to Lucy for some psychiatric help and psychological relief. Plaintively he asks, “What can you do when you don’t fit in? What can you do when life seems to be passing you by?” Lucy leads Charlie away from her booth and says, “Follow me. I want to show you something. See the horizon over there? See how big this world is? See how much room there is for everybody? Have you ever seen any other worlds?” Charlie replies sheepishly, “No.” Lucy carries on, “As far as you know, this is the only world there is . . . Right?” Charlie affirms. She continues, “You were born to live in this world . . . Right?” Even more sheepishly, Charlie says, “Right.” Lucy then explodes, “Well, live in it then! Five cents please.”
While we may not appreciate Lucy’s counseling style, we would have to admit she is on to something. We all need to make the most of our lives and really live. We should all aspire to live well. Life is a precious gift from God that should be valued highly, received gratefully, and unwrapped enthusiastically.
To help us live well, God has provided us the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs educates and enlightens us on the proper path to life and offers us a series of steps that allows each of us to travel further down the road to harmony, happiness, health and holiness. This book is a veritable “tree of life” to those who chew on its truth. Bruce Waltke notes; “Proverbs functions symbolically as the ‘tree of life’ that was lost in Genesis 3:22-24. By including this metaphor with some prominence (Prov. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4) the author makes it clear that until we reach the ‘tree of life’ in paradise, we should hold fast to the life-giving wisdom of the book of Proverbs.”
As a book shaped to enhance our lives in God and before men, Proverbs tells us our lives can be better by choosing the things that are best. Living well means discerning that some things are better than other things. Read, meditate, and act on the following list:
- Prize wisdom (Prov. 3:13-14; 8:12-21)
- Prioritize love (Prov. 15:17)
- Practice humility (Prov. 16:18-19; 25:6-8)
- Pursue integrity (Prov. 19:1; 28:6)
- Preserve reputation (Prov. 10:7; 22:1)
- Purge anger (Prov. 19:13; 21:19)
- Possess patience (Prov. 16:32)
- Pick peace (Prov. 17:1)
- Promote contentment (Prov. 15:16; 16:8)
- Prefer rebuke (Prov. 27:5)
- Protect friendship (Prov. 27:10)
Making the most of our lives entails choosing what is best!