As we continue our summer journey into the Everyday Wisdom of Proverbs, I came across this powerful introduction to the book of Proverbs, written by Pastor, Author, and Scholar, Eugene Peterson. He sets the scene so well!
Many people think that what’s written in the Bible has mostly to do with getting people into heaven – getting right with God, saving their eternal souls. It does have to do with that, of course. But it is equally concerned with living on this earth – living well, living in robust sanity. In our Scriptures, heaven is not the primary concern, to which earth is a tagalong afterthought. “On earth as it is in heaven” is Jesus’ prayer.
Wisdom is the biblical term for this on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven everyday living. Wisdom is the art of living skillfully in whatever actual conditions we find ourselves. It has virtually nothing to do with information as such, with knowledge as such. Wisdom has to do with becoming skillful in honoring our parents and raising our children, handling our money and conducting our sexual lives, going to work and exercising leadership, using words well and treating friends kindly, eating and drinking healthily, cultivating emotions within ourselves and attitudes toward others that make for peace.
Threaded through all these items is the insistence that the way we thinking of and respond to God is the most practical thing we do. In matters of everyday practicality, nothing, absolutely nothing, takes precedence over God.
Eugene Peterson, Introduction to Proverbs
(Download Proverbs Summer 2014 reading plan here!)