Skillful Living 101—1 The Manual for Living

Have you ever longed for a manual on how to do life? Craved insight on how to raise and nurture kids? Do you ever just ache for a method for relating to teens? Asked for techniques to communicate with your spouse? Wondered what to say and how to respond in various situations? Yearned for procedures on how to keep living when life stops or hurts? How to find a spouse? How to keep a spouse? How to get and maintain a job? How to live on less? How to avoid foolishness? The list is endless.

God has dropped an idea into my heart. The idea unfolds as a sequence of blogs on skillful living. I’ve heard it said that Proverbs is the manual for skillful living. This sequence will elaborate on Proverbs—“The Manual for living” as The Message version of the Bible has so appropriately named it.

The main thing I’ve learned about life, took 25 years to learn. Nonetheless I am very appreciative for the truth I now understand. The truth is: I, Regina Forest—in the flesh—know one thing or maybe its two things—that I do not know anything, but God, who lives in me, knows everything. He is the Living Word, wise, alive, active and discerning; therefore I as I abide Him—His attributes become mine.

To live skillfully, it’s essential to have relationship with God and by His grace to heed His Word.

I will try to make these blogs as small morsels of information to be savored. I hope to breakdown certain proverbs and plainly explain them (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course!). Hopefully this will help ordinary people like you and I to understand and apply the instruction given to us in the book of Proverbs.

We should view the book of Proverbs as a chest full of treasure, where each nugget and gem are available to enhance our life—assisting us to live skillfully. Everyone needs a little help with the how to’s of life…I know I do!

Enough said, now let’s get started…

Proverbs 1:1-6 states: applying the principles in Proverbs causes us to gain:

  • Wisdom and instruction for sensible behavior
  • To know justice
  • Gives knowledge and discretion to the young (much needed)
  • Adds learning to the wise (also much needed)
  • Gives us understanding about proverbs and parables

Skillful living tool: There is no wisdom apart from God.

Right off the bat Proverbs 1:7 describes the first rule in skillful living:

  • We must fear the Lord
  • Only fools despise wisdom

Proverbs 1:7 as articulated in The Message, “Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.” (Good advice!)

Skillful living tool: Fear the Lord.

Proverbs 1:8-19 truthfully says, kids honor your parents, it also expresses the importance of good parenting:

  • Pay attention to your father’s words
  • Remember your mother’s teachings
  • Pick your friends wisely “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Parenting insight: To parent wisely, follow Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:20-33 expresses the truth:

  • Wisdom is available to everyone
  • Being unwise (stupid) is a choice
  • The unwise make themselves miserable. Proverbs 1:22 asks, how long will you hate knowledge and understanding?
  • Repent from foolishness, and wisdom will be poured out on you
  • Pride will keep you living like a fool. Proverbs 1:29-31 “Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.”
  • Whoever listens to wisdom will live skillfully and be in peace.

Practical insight: Wisdom comes by responding to instruction. Respond to God’s instruction and you will know how to respond in any situation.

Please prayerfully read Proverbs 1 for yourself, ask God to illuminate it to you. Also, ask for the grace to apply His Word— so you can skillfully live your life.

Thanks for reading, please share with those who need a “Manual for Living”. Comments welcomed!

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4 thoughts on “Skillful Living 101—1 The Manual for Living

  1. I really appreciate this series. Proverbs is my daily vitamin. I keenly remember, after a few years of doing this, I thought I had accomplished something. While attending a leaders conference I heard a longtime pastor from New York deliver message in which 90% of the content was quoted from proverbs and it was like I had never heard one of them before. Humbled, I resumed my regular dose of daily proverbs.

    It is a joy to watch the world around you in the light of proverbs. I have been able to bless my sons and family with quotes from them in Birthday and Graduation cards, and the occasional pick me up messages I wish to convey to them how much they mean to me and to God. I am often reminded of my own foolishness and selfishness and other times I have really been drown close to God and His presence by the words he speaks to me through a particular passage. I am also able to completely gauge my actions and behavior based on Gods scale and not my own or the worlds very quickly. Proverbs brings on a whole new level of confidence in my walk as a Christian man, father and husband.

    I wish to encourage you wholeheartedly to follow this path the Holy Spirit is leading you on. Proverbs literally transforms lives and also is a great step into the world of God’s voice and presence reaching into our lives throughout the rest of scripture.

    Thanks for your hard work and great message.

    John M.

    1. Thanks John, I like the idea of Proverbs as a daily vitamin. The insight I received while writing this, was that applying Proverbs illuminates the rest of the scripture, just as you mentioned! God is so Good and faithful. Also thanks for the encouragement!

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