Read Proverbs 30
Sometimes decision making can be difficult.
If you were granted a certain number of wishes what would you ask for?
All the money in the world?
Or would you be altruistic and wish for world peace or for the end of world hunger?
Or would what you wished for be contingent upon the number of wishes you received?
In Disney movies, the characters with the wishes know what they want: Aladdin wants to be a non-street rat and get the girl and Cinderella wants to go to a ball. Their choices were simple, but our lives are much more complex.
Though there is much I could discuss in today’s Proverb, one section in particular stood out to me. This prayer, in the beginning of the chapter, struck me:
And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things
before I die; don’t refuse me—
Banish lies from my lips
and liars from my presence.
Give me enough food to live on,
neither too much nor too little.
If I’m too full, I might get independent,
saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’
If I’m poor, I might steal
and dishonor the name of my God.”
This man could’ve asked for anything in the world and he asked for lies to cease and for enough food. That’s it! My list looks way different from this one. At first, I criticized his prayer for being too small. He could’ve prayed for wars to cease or peace to fall in the hearts of man or asked for revival. But he didn’t, though, upon second glance, I believe he prayed strategically.
Proverbs 6 describes some of the things God hates. In that chapter, we learn that he hates lying so much that it’s listed twice. The man praying this prayer knew that about God. He understood that God’s heart is appalled by lying and deceit. God is truth, so lies are contrary to him. This man wanted the heart of God; he yearned to be like God and honor God with what he said. He wanted to surround himself with people who were pursuing the same goal and who deeply desired to honor God with their entire being.
I love the next part of the prayer because I could picture myself saying something similar. Often when I’m explaining or sharing something I have to qualify or justify my statements because I want to be clearly understood. This man had thought long and hard about this next request, he knew what he was praying for and what he was guarding himself against. He had looked down the road, into the future, saw what gluttony and opulence could lead to, and said “no”.
He wanted nothing to do with what could come from the lavish excess that so many people pray for. I’m guilty of this too. I’ve prayed for more so that I could be generous, but these verses made me question that thought process. I began to wonder if there’s a lack in some people’s cupboards because of the extravagance of others. This man’s prayer made me begin to wonder if he was onto something.
Could we solve world hunger, eliminate corruption, spread love, and spark revival by copying this man’s simple, heartfelt prayer?
Instead of trying to complicate things and create more programs or elaborate schemes, let’s return to simplicity. I wonder how different our communities would look in even a year if Christians began to apply this thought process to their everyday lives. Let’s choose to honor God with our speech and our consumption and see how the world around us begins to change.