Speaking to the Soul – May 30

Better to be patient than powerful

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self- control than to conquer a city. Proverbs 16:32

It’s good for us to ask the question: “What matters most in life?” Time and again the book of Proverbs helps us to think through this question. Many people would assume that it is good to be powerful, to have control of people and even whole communities. But the writer observes that it is far more important to have patience and self-control than great power and influence. He is talking about what the New Testament describes as the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Bible never suggests that it is wrong to have wealth or power. If either of them have come your way, give thanks to God! What matters is that we keep them in their proper place. They are nowhere near as important as living for God with the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that he gives to all those who walk in his ways. Money and power come and go. But the fruit of the Spirit is of a completely different nature, being as eternal and indestructible as God himself.

As ever, the focus of Proverbs is on helping the reader to live life to the full. The writer’s many severe words of warning always have the intention of helping the reader to avoid pitfalls and disaster. He sees living for God as the most exciting and desirable way to live, which not only brings blessing to us as individuals but to all those around us as well. Choosing God’s way is often not the easiest path but it’s always the best.

Be honest: What matters most to you in your life?

Thank you Lord that you love me so much that you share the unvarnished truth with me. Help me to seek the fruit of your Holy Spirit before anything else. Amen