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Icing? Yes, please!

Have you ever blamed someone else for something you did wrong? If you lived in a house with more than one sibling growing up, you might have tried to blame a sibling, or the infamous person referred to a "I dunno". Most of the time mom or dad knew perfectly well that one of their 'charming children' was to blame for the broken glass, empty cookie jar, or missing remote! There are times we "blame" God for the ignorant stuff we do. We venture into stuff without clearly thinking it through - just plunging right ahead and never considering the end before we take the first step. In the end, we look back, wondering where God let us down! Proverbs reminds us people ruin their own lives by their own foolishness (Proverbs 19:3). God is seldom to "blame" for our missteps. In fact, when we come right down to it, the steps were miscalculated on our part - plain and simple.

Grow a wise heart—you'll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you'll find a good life. 
(Proverbs 19:8)

Grow a wise heart. There is no implication of a wise heart being given to us on a silver platter, or because we are some 'favored one'! Wisdom is something which comes over time - through consistent application of truth as it is revealed to us. It is like icing a cake. You begin with a full bowl of icing - perfectly prepared for the cake. Until you take the spatula and begin to "apply" it to the cake, the cake is unaffected by the icing in the bowl. Now, cake without icing is okay - but cake with a rich layer of icing wedged between the layers and slathered all over the surface is much more luscious! The 'topping' of the cake is really the 'application' of truth in our lives! The Word of God is "prepared" for us - just like the icing in the bowl. God took special time to pour out each and every word contained within scripture - just as one who designs a recipe takes the time to consider each ingredient carefully and with precision. He prepared his Word in advance of us needing to "apply" it to our lives. In the application, we experience the rich lusciousness of the Word. It satiates us with its richness!

"The one who gets wisdom loves life..." Do you love life? If you are not pursuing the Word in such a manner so as to apply it actively to your life, you may not actually love to 'embrace' wisdom! Wisdom is "grown", not just "known". Keep a clear head - there is no implication of a clear head being the result of some mystical process. The very simple truth is we must "keep" our heads in "right" condition - "keeping" is really our responsibility. Whenever we "keep" something, it implies we have brought it into right order to begin with! When you "keep up", you are saying you are maintaining possession of something placed within your control. These are "our" minds - they don't belong to anyone else. Therefore, the keeping of a clear head is really an active process on our part.

"The one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper." We have a tendency to "keep up" something we cherish. Look at a man with his polished and preciously restored vintage automobile. Hours of hard work, tender care, and skilled application on display for all to behold. A clear head is something like this man's automobile - it needs our hard work, tender care, and skillful application of truth in order to set it in right order and to keep it in this condition of order! If the man only looked in on that vehicle from time to time, the 'upkeep' of the vehicle would be wasted. We are not left on our own to do the "ordering" of our minds. This is a good thing! We have been given the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to assist in the process - kind of like having the technical manual at our fingertips, along with a skilled instructor to guide us through.

Today, I want to challenge us to examine our application of knowledge - to move beyond the mere attainment of knowledge. Mere knowledge is nothing without application - in applying what we learn, we soon become wise beyond our age - beyond our experiences! It is in the application of truth and the "keeping up" with the application of it over time until it produces the desired result that we begin to realize clarity of mind and thought! We don't apply truth to just have it adorn our lives - it is applied because it makes the enjoyment of our lives richer and more meaningful. Just sayin!

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