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May 1 | Proverbs 1:1-7


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Generous Re-imagination

by Katie Borden


Ah, proverbs. Those catchy little educational phrases–from the non-Biblical (“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”) to the Biblical (Prov. 4:23 “guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”), to the hilarious-yet-somehow-still-Biblical (one of my personal favorites: Prov. 26:11 “as a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly”).


We can be tempted to see these adages as little one-off sayings that intersect with one tiny slice of lived experience and inform our actions in that particular context. But the words of our passage today, which act as the prologue to the rest of the book of Proverbs, might imply that the Biblical book of succinct phrases serves an even more overarching purpose for us: God intends to offer us wisdom, not just knowledge. Wisdom is often thought of as the sound insight or judgment that comes from lived experience. I suspect that’s why we often think of being both “older and wiser” as a package deal.


However, I don’t think Scripture intends to tell us we should be better people by living more wisely because of lived experience and catchy phrases–although these Proverbs can shape us in our character and help us know what is “right and just and fair” (v.3). As the Holy Spirit works in our hearts, we are granted a truer, more paradigm-altering wisdom that comes from God. When we come “face to face” with God’s unfathomable grace and love, our hearts are changed and our imaginations transformed to capture a new vision of what life might be like when lived in the way God intends for life to be, both for us as individuals and as a community.


As we are shaped in wisdom and our imaginations change, I suspect the way we desire to spend our lives, our energy, our time, and yes, even our money, changes. Our generous God instills a new, better, more beautiful vision in our minds and hearts for what life can look like, and so what might look like foolish spending to others is, to our reinvigorated imaginations, a worthy investment poured freely into the flourishing kingdom of God for the good of his creation and for his glory. Lord, may it be so!


PRAYER

God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, continue to create in me a new heart and shape within me a new imagination for what life can look like in the glory and goodness of your kingdom. Train my heart to live life in your way, in your presence. Amen.






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