Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;

   fear the Lord and shun evil.

8 This will bring health to your body

   and nourishment to your bones.

 

 Have you ever been convinced that you were right, only to be proven wrong? Those who are wise in their own eyes have a distorted view of their own opinions; they are always at risk of humiliation. Convinced that their success in one thing makes them experts in everything, they fail to seek advice and are confidently ignorant. They see rules as challenges to be overcome, tradition as oppression, values as something to transcend. They are guided only by desires, contemptuous of anything that challenges them, stubborn in their pride and willing to do anything to get what they want.

 How can you protect yourself from the distortions of arrogance? Acknowledge the Lord in all you do. Give him the authority over your ways, seek out the paths he has established. Those who fear the Lord live in harmony with reality, but the arrogant are deluded by their pride. Reject evil, just as the Lord rejects it, and you will avoid the snares of ego. Let his standards, not your opinions, be the straight edge against which you measure yourself.

 “This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Just as your peace is affected by your relationship with good and evil, so is your health. You may be able to avoid some consequences of living at odds with reality, but the physical and psychological strains will catch up with you. It is not always easy to fear the Lord and shun evil, but it is always worth doing. What can be said of those who oppose him? When all is considered, they have really opposed themselves.

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