The House of the Wicked; The Abode of the Righteous

The House of the Wicked; The Abode of the Righteous

“A home is more than just where you live; it reflects who you are!” As I contemplated this quote, I wondered about the advice I’ve received through my life about the importance of making your bed every morning. I listened to this wise military man say this to a crowd of graduates at a ceremony and he got a laugh initially, then he told them he was very serious. When you make your bed every morning, you can look back and say you’ve accomplished at least that one thing!

Then I recalled some other wisdom I’ve learned through my years about if you are going to be a positive influence in the world; if you are going to be a leader, then get your house in order, both physically and spiritually. How can you correct others if your own home is in disarray? Wow, that’s a bit harsh, but it has the ring of truth about it. It also produces a sense of humility in me that I should probably be attentive to so that I can both grow and embrace humility and patience with others. Man, I have a lot to do in my life!

Look at our lesson today in Proverbs 3:19-34:

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke forth, and the clouds drop down the dew.

My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion; let them not escape from your sight, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble. If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” — when you have it with you. Do not plan evil against your neighbor who dwells trustingly beside you. Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways; for the perverse man is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence. The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous. Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor.

King Solomon contrasts the House of the Wicked and the Abode of the Righteous. And I confess I have lived in one of those houses more than the other! And the key symptom or characteristic to tell one from the other is the amount o chaos as opposed to order that exists.

The wisdom the author offers his son has everything to do with establishing a firm foundation for your mindset, your priorities, and your choices. Wisdom and discretion have everything to do with finally waking up to dealing with reality rather than chaotically vacillating between what I’m afraid of and what I hope for! Solomon tells his son if you do that hard, internal work in your soul, then when calamity comes, when challenging times come, your life will be on the solid ground of God’s wisdom. And God’s wisdom is solid BECAUSE it is eternal. Wisdom from God’s perspective means embracing an eternal perspective in your life rather than a life constantly shifting with the whims of a fickled and temporary society.

And please notice how Solomon illustrates where this kind of wisdom is best seen! This wisdom based on order and an eternal perspective are best seen in how you treat your neighbor! Give immediately! Act with integrity and not with schemes. Don’t be argumentative! Don’t envy! Living with this wise perspective leads to God’s favor in your life!

Today, which House do you live in? If you proactively embrace being Orthodox on Purpose, wisdom will direct you on the path of righteousness.

P.S. O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. (Prostration) But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Your servant. (Prostration) Yes, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

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