I am not one who pays attention to the variety of diets available, but I am glad when I hear stories from folks like Jared, who lost weight while eating Subway subs, or Janet Jackson, and how she benefited from Weight Watchers. I know many folks have trouble with their weight, so eating well and developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is critical for all of us. I also know many followers of Jesus struggle with another issue – being “thin” Christians due to spiritual malnutrition. It’s hard if you try and live for Christ solely on the sermon you hear once a week.
After almost three and a half decades of following Jesus, I have discovered one diet that is a surefire way to get in shape spiritually and stay on track – I call it the Proverbs Diet. It consists of taking small portions of the Book of Proverbs each day for a month, chewing on it slowly (i.e., meditation), and allowing God’s Word to work into your life. It’s true that you are what you eat!
Consider the following Scripture Mc-Nuggets to whet your appetite:
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (1:7)
- Wisdom will protect you from being enticed by evil (2:12)
- Don’t trust your own wisdom, but lean on God’s (3:5-6)
- Pay attention to your Father’s instruction (4:1)
- Don’t mess around with sexual temptation (5:3-10)
- Hate evil behavior and perverse talk (8:13)…check out verses 34-35 as a bonus!
- Wise people want to grow in wisdom and are teachable (9:9)
- Laziness leads to poverty (10:4)
- If you want to be respected, be kind to others (11:16)
- You are stupid if you do not listen to instruction and correction, too (12:1)
- Pride leads to nothing but arguments (13:10)
- God is watching over all of us (15:3)
- God alone is sovereign (16:4, 5, 9)
- God’s name is a refuge (18:10)
- Kindness to poor people honors God (19:17)
- Being led astray by alcohol is foolish (20:1)
- The discipline of children is a good idea (22:15)
- Honey is good for you (24:13)
- Too much honey is not good for you (25:16)
- Deceit is no laughing matter (26:19)
- Iron sharpens iron – be accountable to others to grow into Christ-likeness (27:17)
- Don’t live in a fantasy world (28:19)
- A wise person is self-controlled (29:11)
- God’s Word is flawless, so know it well (30:5)
- A noble wife is worth more than rubies (31:10)
Just one chapter a day for a month will get rid of the tentacles of sin that so easily entangles and prevents you from running your race well (Romans 12:1-2), and tighten up your spiritual muscles. While you are at it, work to memorize a verse from each chapter over the month, too.
When will you start this diet? Consider keeping a journal of valuable truths you learn (and are willing to apply) from reading a Proverb a day. How will you keep yourself accountable for what you read during this diet? Walk wisely. A Proverb a day keeps the devil away and you in shape.
Love is a verb,