“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV
Our culture today is obsessed with enhancing quality of life and finding the answer to get perfect health. It is amazing how much time, effort and money goes to pursuing physical, emotional and mental wellness.
People often assume a more expensive or advanced remedy is automatically better, thus feeding the cycle of discovery. The hunger to find a path to a satisfying life and the accompanying thirst to perfect our health consumes far too many of us.
We wonder how our lives will be viewed as we age. Will our life have the same meaning as when we were younger? Will our health keep us from things we desire to participate in?
We have allowed society to set the standard for what life and health must look like. So we set out to find whatever it will take for us to attain that artificial benchmark.
Proverbs 4:20-22 points to the true standard of life and health.
Ironically, the words of this scripture verse do not specifically define what life and health encompasses in tangible terms. Instead the passage directs us to a foundation truth in which life and health are built.
That truth is the Word of God.
The reader is first instructed to ‘pay attention’ to what is about to be revealed. The author of the passage leaves no doubt as to the importance of conveying this timeless principle. They engage our ears, eyes, and hearts to make sure complete and proper focus is given to the impending declaration.
The most intriguing facet of the passage is the use of the word ‘find’.
To find is to put forth effort to make our pursuits lead to greater revelation.
Matthew 7:7-8 also illuminates a similar use of the word find as seen in Proverbs:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks and receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Both of these scriptures convey a very vital part a believer must play in order to build upon their life-giving faith.
We must take an active role is hearing, seeing and internalizing a worldview that honors the one true God, Creator of the universe.
We must listen and discern the sound of the Shepherd among the many voices that compete for our attention.
We must direct our focus only on things that honor and glorify God.
We must open our hearts and allow the truth of God’s Word to be seared within it.
As we seek out Truth with humbled submission, we will find it.
We are led to the ground in which our life should be rooted in by pursuing faith with our ears, eyes, and hearts.
Our standard for life and health are now grounded in the unchanging Word and not in a fickle, ever moving worldly view or earthly remedy.
When we put forth the effort to find God’s Word and put it at the forefront of all we do, we will be given life in abundance (John 10:10). It will be “health to your flesh and strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8).