The Godless and The Upright – Part One
In June I set out to write an article about each chapter of the Book of Proverbs in which I was offering my impressions and conclusions as to what each chapter of the book said to me. Having been brought up in the Methodist Church and going to Methodist Bible School* and then attending and being part of the leadership in the “House Church” movement, I relished the chance after over 20 years of not attending church to see what the scriptures said to me.
Therefore, having not studied the bible, not heard any sermons or read any commentaries for many years I wrote an ten articles in June, one for each of the first ten chapters of the Book of Proverbs. I started this project was because I heard Mark Hoverson of ILN speak for two hours on one verse of Proverbs (Chapter 12 v 24) and was reminded of my desire 20 years earlier to see what the scriptures said to me personally, without all the background noise of others.
Here in the middle of July and I no longer feel it is adequate to write one article per chapter. My intention now, is to be much more detailed in my approach to my task. I do not intend writing a commentary, or to research what others have said; I am intending to continue, as before, giving my impressions as I read the verses of this amazing book of wisdom. I am not here to tell you what the Hebrew words means, just what my reading of the English says to me.
I am not an authority on this or any other book in the scriptures, but I have an open heart and I am willing to receive insights that may help others into accepting the wisdom of King Solomon from 3,000 years ago. My hope is that some of what I have to say here will be not from me but through me; that some of the divine spark will be here for you the reader. I leave the matter in your hands, you decide what I have written is inspired and what is not.
My Mum used to do a lot of baking and sometimes she would let me weigh the flour or the butter. We had a pair of scales and some weights, you put the weights at one side and the flour or butter at the other. This was how she made (along with a lot of love and flair for cooking) the perfect cake by having the right measure of ingredients. If you want a perfect life you need to make sure the scales of your perception are working correctly.
As I read these scriptures I have an ulterior motive, I am looking for advice on how to properly run my business life. When I see this verse I think of the business principle of win/win; that both parties to each of the transactions that I will be involved in, within my business life must gain something of benefit from it. It seems that fairness in trading is also one of the important aspects of business from a scriptural point of view too!
I have been taught from an early age that grace and humility are some of the best characteristics to be found in human beings. To be gracious in our dealings with each other is not just saying our please and thank yous but an attitude of love towards those we meet which can be summed up in the word Namaste! We should respect the spirit of the one who gives us life in the people we meet. If we are humble the scriptures tell us elsewhere we will be exalted.
Maybe this is where the well known saying “Pride comes before a fall!” comes from? From a business point of view, I am sure people who may look for certainty of delivery of what is promised and the appropriate skills from those they are to trade with; nevertheless do not like arrogance or over confidence from their business partners. Those showing humility are indeed wise, they are not too sure of themselves but have a balanced view of their abilities.
The road ahead is an image that is constantly on my mind, it is so full of expectation and promise and yet there is a level of uncertainty as to where the path may lead. In verse three we are given an insight as to how steady and comfortable progress can be made! The word integrity hints at one of the simplest of instructions to guide you and I to the life we would prefer, but speaks also of a way to live that will keep the right sort of people in your life.
In business crookedness often seems to pay dividends, but as the scripture says elsewhere: what is the advantage of gaining the world if you lose your soul in the process. Don’t look at the one transaction that although win/lose has the unscrupulous trader smiling from ear to ear; look at where those transactions lead in the long run. If you want to build a business that lasts, that you can pass on to your children and grand-children, act with integrity every day!
Love and light to you from Andrew <3
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*Cliff College, Calver, UK in 1979/80 , which holds a Conservative Evangelical view of the Scriptures