What do we perceive “the good life” to be? I think many of us would say the good life includes success, money, a nice house and nice material possessions. Our obsession with celebrities points to this definition. However, a study of Proverbs reveals something very different.
This month we are studying Proverbs at my church.
And it is kicking my butt.
Last Sunday, our pastor, Pete Wilson, talked about the good life being a life of wisdom and pursuit of the Lord – not about all that other stuff.
This really resonated with me. Is that how I define the good life?
You see, my husband Matthew left for Uganda on Thursday to experience what World Vision does for the people there. If the good life was all about fame and money for the people of Uganda, for most it would never be achievable.
Combine his trip with the devastation in Haiti…
Wow. The Lord is teaching me so much.
The “good life” is not about stuff. It can’t be. If it was, many people in the world could never have it.
In Proverbs 4:5-7 it says:
5b Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
It doesn’t say, get a bunch of stuff. It doesn’t say, get a big house. It says, get wisdom.
As I watch videos that Matthew has shot in Uganda and see images of bodies piled high, destruction everywhere and people crying in the streets of Haiti, it is hard for me to understand the complete scope of the poverty and despair.
But I know that the Bible is clear in its direction to love people and help the poor. So in seeking wisdom, I am working at loving better and helping by contributing funds to those in need.
We can contribute to so many organizations whose missions are to love people and help the poor, like this sweet little girl living in poverty in Uganda. A few organizations I believe in are World Vision, Compassion, Mocha Club, and Soles4Souls. All of them, and many more, are working tirelessly to serve people in Haiti, Uganda, and around the world.
Whatever we do, let’s seek wisdom in our lives. Love people. Help the poor.
What is one way you or someone you know makes a difference in the lives of others? It can be as simple as a donation or as involved as running a homeless shelter. Your testimony will (in)courage one another to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Peace be with you.
Shaunie Friday says
My husband makes a difference by inspiring young people. He speaks to a group of inner city high school kids from the neighborhood he grew up in (and others like it). He looks them in the eye as someone who was once in their shoes, and encourages them to reach beyond what they can see, beyond what the naysayers say they can’t do and make the most of their God-given potential. They can’t take their eyes off him and they are hungry for his encouragement!
A great post, and some great thoughts. I am always looking for opportunities to give and help. Thank you for the links!
My husband and I are missionaries in Eastern Europe, working among the Turkish speaking Roma Gypsies. Working with them has taught me so much. In one particular home, the roof is caving in, they have no fire wood (and it’s blizzard-like at this moment), have little food, etc. And yet, they praise God. And not just a simple thanks. They cry out to God with their hands held to heaven, thanking Him for His great salvation. Thanking Him for the peace they found in Christ. Thanking Him for changing their whole life.
And I, in my sturdy fairly warm house with sufficient firewood and plenty to eat, have a hard time giving a sacrifice of praise. It’s convicting.
This verse has been stepping on my toes as of late… “Remove far from me vanity and lies” give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” Proverbs 30:8
pete wilson says
Great post Jessica!
Amen, Jessica, Amen. The 31 Proverbs in 31 Days has affirmed so many thoughts for me, it has reinforced things I knew deep down but needed to bring out to the surface. I have loved blogging about it every day.
Thank you for sharing the Truth!
I’m serial commenter here at (in)courage, but wanted to remain anonymous for this post, for the simple reason I don’t want MY glory, I want HIS.
Our main thing, though not cloaked in sacrificing service like missionaries (I’m inspired Carrie!), but in a steadfast support of ONE compassion child. In Ethopia, for the last 4-5 years now. It’s really my husband, but I’m married to that wonderful man. He’s a steadfast kinda guy, and the little girl has benefited. Another SMALL thing, we donated to Haiti’s rescure effort.
That is all. I know it’s not much, but to one little girl, it’s mean the world.
I’m back, sorry! the anonymous thing, it’s for my vanity, I’m not going to the feed the monster. 🙂 I’d love to see names of others and stories shared! Very inspiring indeed to see others reaching out. Ms. anonymous is for my flesh, not meant for condemnation of others sharing.
theGoodlife is the name of my blog. :0) In my case I am not looking for the good life…I am experiencing it. I am acknowledging that God works all things in my life for Good with a capital G–the Good He knows, the Good of His kingdom, the Good of His plan for my life, and the Good of His taking the bad of this world in my life and using it for Good. He is a Redeemer.
And the Good that comes from investing in other’s lives…YES.
I know this isn’t what you asked…just couldn’t resist commenting on my version of the Good life. :0)
Great post Jessica.
I am all over this, too, Jessica. God has put the poor on my heart bigtime. My hope: to earn money and give it away.
The orgs you listed are highly reputable. Thanks so much for your post. Blessings, Lucy
I started a nonprofit after several trips to Africa. Hope Aid International. (http://www.hopeaid.org) – If not for the wonderful people in Uganda, HAI wouldn’t exist. They are amazing…
Holley Gerth says
Jessica, thanks for having a heart that listens and responds to HIS…and helping all of us do the same! Appreciate you!
Faith Barista Bonnie says
It takes a lot of wisdom these days to stretch a dollar — and even more to stretch our love to others. It involves a trust in God, that He is good enough, beyond what we have. What an amazing experience your Hubby has brought back to you. Thank you for blessing us in turn with this reminder, Jessica.
As a former full-time career woman turned stay at home mom of a 2 year old, I am finally at peace with knowing that my ministry is my son. I think at first I was struggling with the feeling of “I used to be somebody!” – and I’m learning that I’m more important now, as a mom, than I was before. My ministry is to shape my toddler (and other future children) into a mature, responsible, and loving adult that can go forth and make a difference! When things happen in the world, like the earthquake in Haiti, and I start to feel helpless, I just remind myself that I need to turn this into a moment to teach compassion to my son. Go moms!
Michele Barron says
My husband just got a promotion at work. As I praise God for this, I am trying to think of new ways and organizations to be involved with and donate to. To whom much is given, much is required. And I loved the comment about how the good life can not be things or else so many could not have it. That is truth and brings hope in light of Haiti.