Ignore the Word and you will certainly suffer! Did you realize that is actually a warning provided to us in scripture? It also offers a pretty awesome reminder of what happens when we don't ignore the truths of God - if we honor God's commands, we will grow rich! Okay, don't get me wrong, study of God's Word is not a "get rich quick" scheme! It is actually a pretty orderly, sequential growth process that has many rewards for the one who takes the time to make the investment into taking it in. Yet, we can go days and days without any intake of the truth that has the potential to free us from our hurts and hangups. We toy with truth like it was something to we might find beneficial at some point, but not at others. The long and short of it is that if we merely toy with truth, it cannot have as deep of an impact in our lives as God intended!
Ignore the Word and suffer; honor God's commands and grow rich. (Proverbs 13:13)
All of scripture teaches us that an appetite for good brings much satisfaction. We have many ways of satisfying the various 'appetites' we have. If we want chocolate, we purchase a chocolate bar, peel back the wrapper and dig in. If we want a salty snack, we may rip open a bag of peanuts and chow down. The Word of God is often referred to as that which satisfies the cravings, or longings, of our soul. If we want some good "soul food", we need to just open the cover and dig in! God doesn't make this pursuit of truth impractical to us - it is quite simple! When we neglect, or disregard, what is given to us for our spiritual health and well-being, we soon become "starved" for that which our spirit literally craves or yearns for deeply. There is a "weakened state" or spiritual "anemia" that occurs when we neglect to have a regular and consistent "intake" of the Word. That is why scripture reminds us we will suffer if we ignore it! What is fed grows - what is neglected weakens and eventually dies. We sometimes find ourselves complaining, "I am just not growing." Well, if we aren't "feeding" on the right stuff, we might not actually have what it is we require to nourish our lives.
Another truth is that the teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, but we need to heed the warning to stop drinking from "tainted" wells. What we allow into our minds affects our spirit. When we are filling our minds with a consistent intake of the Word, we are building our spirits and allowing the Word to reshape us. When we are negligent in regular intake of the Word, we are "shaped" by whatever we are allowing as intake in its place. We need to learn to be as wise in our spiritual "food" intake as we are in our other types of 'food' intake. We cannot consistently eat "junk" food and expect to look like beauty queens (I could stand as an example of that one)! We need a balance - not huge portions, just consistent intake. Let's learn to take God's Word in on a regular basis, shall we? It is time to "peel back the wrapper" on what will really satisfy our hungry souls. Then, through regular intake, we might just find our 'anemia' in that problematic area of our lives begins to be reversed until what was once the weakest part of our character becomes the strongest! Just sayin!