Messy Wisdom

Proverbs 6:6-23

The only other writings I’ve written fewer sermons on than the psalms is Proverbs. I may have sprinkled a proverb in here and there. But I’m not sure I’ve ever preached directly from one. Truthfully, they feel too scatterbrained to follow, at least in typical sermon fashion.

Of course, the entire book is about Wisdom. Wisdom has a lot to say about a lot of different things. It’s just hard to keep track sometimes of all those different things. For example, in the reading we shared today, wisdom talks first to the lazybones. Then she jumps right to scoundrels and villains. And after that we learn the seven abominations. 

It’s probably just me, but that makes for a difficult sermon to craft. It makes it hard to put together a nice, orderly single thought or theme. Not impossible, mind you, but I’d rather tell the story of a Jesus miracle.

Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed something about life that I have, too. Life isn’t always neat and in order. Tidiness is often a luxury. Even the great tidiness expert Marie Kondo agrees now. She showed me how to perfect the organization of my sock drawer, but decided the tidiness expectation can be too much. So, while Proverbs may not be the best sermonic foundation, they do mirror life. And life can be pretty messy and unorderly.

Wisdom speaks with the intent to offer life to our everyday situations, simple, complex or otherwise chaotic as they may be. She redirects our ways toward well living and faithfulness. Wisdom wants us to be whole and even happy.

Christians often struggle when God doesn’t seem to work by their sense of order or structure. Be sure that God isn’t bound to our understanding of how things should work out nice and orderly. Add that to life’s own messiness and things feel out of control sometimes.

So, take wisdom as it comes. Write notes. Record ideas and questions. Reflect on what you learn as you can. If Wisdom wants to speak right now, listen to whatever needs to be said. Trust she’ll speak again in a bit, too. By then, her topic of choice may be quite different, but it’ll still be what you need to hear.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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