Daily Devotional

Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

My wife and I love to read. The natural consequence of this is that we have a lot of books. Having a lot of books means that we need a lot of shelf space to display them all and this is why our books have spent many years in boxes. We recently decided that it was time to get the books unpacked, which meant it was time to build some shelves. As many home projects go, it started as a simple idea but eventually grew and morphed into a much bigger project than we initially imagined. The good news is we have a wonderful neighbor who has done woodworking for most of his life. He had the knowledge, the skills, the tools, and the experience to guide us through every step of our shelf-building-journey.

Every step of the way, we’d ask our neighbor what he thought we should do next and he’d tell us. Never once did we deviate from following the instructions he gave us. I have to admit there were times that I questioned if the seemingly "extra" steps he outlined were necessary, and even times when I wondered if it’d really be that noticeable if we skipped a step or two, BUT I stuck to what he said. Why? Because he knew much, much more than I did.

We can receive instruction in lots of areas of life and we always have the choice to follow it or not. There are consequences to everything. A friend once told me “everything costs something” and I regularly think how wise those words are. Following my neighbor’s instructions cost me a lot more time than I expected, but not following his directions would have cost me an inferior end result. Following God’s commands can and often do cost us, but not following them will have a far greater cost in the end.

If we want to be wise it makes sense to listen to God’s instruction but we also need to not neglect it. Hearing it is important, acting on it is vital. Right now, I look at my wall lined with floating bookshelves and see a product that is far better than anything I could have done on my own. When we follow the instructions of our God who is wiser than we are, we will someday be able to look back at a life lived better than we could have ever done on our own.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.