Anyone who does God’s will is my brother! And my sister! And my mother! [KNT]
Jesus tells us that spiritual ties are stronger than natural ones. Our true family is made up of those doing what God wants, those who are following Him with their whole heart. Thru God, our spiritual family heals the hurts from our biological family and fills the gaps where they missed us in some way.
And none of our parents or family are perfect, let’s be honest. None of us are perfect parents either. None of us are strong in every aspect of humanity. Therefore it is imperative for the holistic growth of our children that we are immersed within a spiritual family to fill in the gaps we may or may not be aware of. This is an easy move if we truly want the absolute best for our children.
If my girls are only around me and their mother, they will be products of us, for sure-which is cool and fun to a degree, yes, but why would I want them to be exposed only to us? I know many wonderful Christ following parents whom I trust and value greatly. Why would I not desire my children to be around them and gain more godliness thru their unique lives and perspectives? How much more whole will our girls be for having experienced others doing God’s will and filling in the gaps where we are lacking.
I was so happy to have our girls spend a weekend with one of those families last month, knowing they were in good hands, not just because they’d be safe, but because they would be immersed in a goodness that is, at the core, in line with our values, yet beautifully different in the details.
For learning about wisdom and instruction…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…
In the biblical wisdom literature we find principles governing daily living that, when rightly understood, can lead us to God. These principles, given by a loving God through the means of natural human wisdom, reveal God’s will for our lives and how we can live harmoniously in the world.
Through these passages God, much like a parent advising a child, reveals the patterns that help us gain an understanding of our own personal life (4:11-12), work with one another (15:1), and ultimately discover God Himself (2:5-11; 24:21-22). They emphasize normative patterns of living (chap 14). They teach us that joy and happiness, sorrow and despair are a direct result of the life we lead and the choices we make (7:21-27). “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but those who hate to be rebuked are stupid” (12:1). They represent a stored treasure of human experience that reveal the wisdom and grace of God (3:5-8).
These wisdom sayings ultimately lay the responsibility for the “good life” at our feet as we exercise the freedom God gave us to know and to serve Him. “Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding….The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens….My child, do not let these escape from your sight” (3:13,19-21).
These Scriptures focus on the practical choices we make in life and the consequences that flow from these choices. In contrast to other parts of Scripture, they do not focus on the more dominant biblical theme of salvation history-how we overcome our alienation from God. As a result of this shift of emphasis, some overlook the importance of these teachings. But in neglecting this wisdom literature we miss an important God-given resource for practical instruction on how to live a better life in the everyday world.
In clever, poetic, pithy or “catchy” sayings, these books emphasize a basic moral orientation that guides us in all aspects of daily living (2:1-5). They teach us the “things that are true on the whole and for the most part.” The writers’ confidence in life’s moral order gives rise to the cause-and-effect reasoning that dominates these Scriptures. If we are good, then good will befall us: “A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water” (11:25). If we are evil, then evil will befall us: “Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, or dwell in a body enslaved to sin” (Wisdom of Solomon 1:4). The wisdom tradition of the Bible focuses on building character, promoting virtue, condemning vice, and teaching us ways in which we can do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time, and in the right way.
-Emilie Griffin from The Spiritual Formation Bible