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Pleasure in the Proverbs – The Archer and His Arrow – Proverbs 10:9

Today as I am trying to get back on my reading plan I find myself in the Proverbs. I love the Proverbs because they are short pithy (concise and forcefully expressive) sayings stating a general truth or piece of advice. They are full of great truth and advice as inspired by God and we receive them in these concise and forcefully expressive statements that cause you to truly reflect on the truth and consider it’s application in your life. However, my favorite part about the proverbs in the pleasure one receives as the proverb is allowed to sink into the mind and soul and be applied in life. So here I will share some of the pleasures we can find in the proverbs and today I begin with Proverbs 10:9.

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9 ESV)

You see many times in life I have experienced, either personally or through observing others, this great unsettledness and fear in people and myself. For example, why is it when one’s boss asks for a meeting that our thoughts tend to shift to, “oh no, what did I do?” It is interesting is it not? Or maybe the situation you experience often (personally or observe in someone else) is this constant looking for approval, looking to be told you have done your job well, or fear that every little thing is referring to you not doing something well.

This is where I love the application of this proverb in our lives. If we walk in integrity then we are able to walk through life securely. We understand integrity to mean living rightly, having good morals, etc. The Hebrew imagery found in this is like an archer shooting a bulls-eye from his bow. It has power, it is shot straight, one might even call it perfectly. The archer is solely focus on the task of his shot, he gives his full attention, and all his strength to his shot and the outcome is spectacular.

Well, what if we lived life this way? What if we lived giving our full attention to God and His ways? What if we put all of our strength into knowing Jesus and living according to His instruction? My understanding is that we would then walk in integrity and we would find the path of life as secure. We would live as people with strong moral principles, we would work hard; giving our all at work while at working, giving our all at home while at home, giving our all for friends, family, coworkers, and our community when in those settings. We would be defined as those who walk in integrity.

The best way to see the outcome we would gain is understanding what we would lose. The second portion of the verse demonstrates the result of living a crooked life, a life not shot straight like the archer’s arrow, but instead one that wobbles to and from and misses the target all together, not to mention the bulls-eye.

We should understand that we are not talking about perfection here, instead we are talking about the path of our life as God has planned for you and I. You can choose the straight path and find your ending where God would intend or you can choose the crooked path and wind up in a different location. We are focusing on the overall way in which we live, the path we walk, and the place we end up.

Now this second path that is crooked will leave you in a constant state of wondering when you will be found out, because eventually you will be found out. So instead of living in this state of worry, this state of need of affirmation, this state of fear, we should instead live securely. You see, if we walk with integrity we might make mistakes from time to time but we deal with them and move on. When the boss comes calling we do not worry if we have done wrong because we know we are giving our all, doing so the right way, and open about our mistakes when they occur. We do not need constant affirmation because we can put our heads on our pillow at night and know that we gave our best effort. We do not read into other’s words with a selfish bent that they are talking about us because we are not leaving things to be found out. Can you see how this simple truth can take much of the worry, stress, fear, and anxiety out of our lives?

Join me in pursuing the straight path of integrity. Join me in training yourself to be an archer who shots a beautiful, straight, strong arrow that hits its designated target. Join me in following Jesus and His ways and lets just see if in the end our shot ends up being one that is spectacular.

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