Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

8 for [the Lord] guards the course of the just

   and protects the way of his faithful ones.

9 Then you will understand what is right and just

   and fair—every good path.

 

 To live justly is to align yourself with the Lord, to maintain faith is to secure his protection. The virtue of justice regulates interaction with others. Does someone deserve an apology from you? Are you tempted to favor some people and disregard others? Is there someone you ought to stand up for? Let justice, not feelings, determine your behavior. Do not put yourself in the seat of judgment, which belongs to the Lord, rather honor him by living justly and submitting yourself to him. He guards the course of the just, but those who seek to guard themselves have neither justice nor protection.

 To resist the temptation of distrust in the face of uncertainty is to exercise the virtue of faith. Trust the Lord, acknowledge him in your ways, and he will protect you. There will be times when danger threatens to overwhelm you, when you can’t see a way through the circumstances facing you. Trust that the Lord sees what you can’t, honor him with each step and leave the destination up to him. Let faith enhance your courage, don’t get stuck in the mire of anxiety.

 “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.” To understand a path, you have to experience it. The same goes for what is right and just and fair. The person who doesn’t seek to live rightly, with justice and fairness, has a distorted opinion of what such a life consists of. Such a person might have an idea of how the righteous behave, but cannot comprehend the maturity and emotional well being that follows good behavior. Do you want to understand every good path? First, get off of the bad paths you are on. Then look for opportunities to exercise goodness, and make the most of them.

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