A New Look From An Old Book

Proverbs 3:1-6 TLB
“My son, never forget the things I’ve taught you. If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions. Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”

On the dawn of a new year, everyone is looking for ways to make their lives better, to get a new look for a new day. People make new year resolutions that, statistics say, will be kept for an average of two months (depending on the survey cited). Over 80% of New Year resolutions will be abandoned before the month of March. If you add the pandemic of COVID in the equation, I suspect that span of time will be further reduced.

Success is mentioned in the scripture text and is something that everyone would like to experience and most talk about. Success is the goal of every man, woman, boy and girl regardless to occupation or social status. Everyone wants success in their lives. Conversely, nobody wants or dreams of being a failure. But what is success? The most common definition of success involves the acquisition or the accumulation of things, and the attainment of status by position, influence, or authority. But I know there is a more accurate description than that.

Let me invite you to take a new look from an old book. It comes from the Old Testament book of Proverbs and says success is best achieved when God is first in everything. The text suggests a universal success in everything that we do when we put the Lord first. Not only would we find favor with both God and man but gain a reputation for good judgment and common sense. This new look from an old book provides a navigational system more accurate than the best GPS devices available today.

Think of what could be accomplished if this universal truth were bound around our necks and written in our hearts as the writer suggests. Think what we could accomplish if it were applied by everyone world over. There would be more tolerance, more understanding, more acceptance, and more love one for another. We may not understand it, but we would have a new look from an old book. I love the poetic language of verses five and six as written in the King James Version. It reads, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Take a new look from an old book in this new year. The text is both a proverb and a promise if applied. You will live wisely and long, together with the ability to go beyond keeping your New Year Resolutions to having a long and satisfying life. And the “crème de la crème” is that you will find favor and high esteem in the sight of both God and man.

Happy and Blessed New Year!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords)

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