Keys to Success and Happiness

I enjoyed the warm weather in Fort Collins with temperatures near 70! This afternoon I rode my power wheelchair to the post office substation about a two miles from our house. I took the dog along. I think he was fairly tuckered at the end.

I enjoyed connecting once again with Pastor Steve Harris for lunch and an opportunity to share my progress and activities. This morning I met with Bonnie Northrop, Beth Bruno and Kathy Breidenbach of the UCount Campaign I mentioned yesterday. I want to help with some of their legislative connections at an event at the Capitol in February focusing on Human Trafficking. (see picture)

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful; trust in the Lord and you will be happy.”   Proverbs 16:20

Two simple and basic words for the wise that can make all the difference. “Pay attention to what you are taught…trust in the Lord…” While it is true that some lessons are learned by our own experience, Solomon constantly reminds us that the “wise” heed instruction and are continually learning the lessons of life.

Paying attention to what you are taught implies application of those lessons to our lives.  You will find a big difference in those who are successful and those who are not. They may all attend the same conferences, read the same books, have a similar formal educational background. But what you will find is that those who are successful are able to take concepts they have learned and put them into practice and build upon those concepts. They simply apply and adapt them to their personality, leadership and situation and they have success. Those who fail may attempt the former and neglect the later. That is where true wisdom and insight come in.

The second part of our Proverb for today, seems like a disconnect. I’m not sure if we automatically equate “trust” with “happiness.” We equate being happy with a trouble-free life and trust with the virtue that is needed when the challenges of life are being faced. For most of us we would separate those two in that way. But true trust is a lifestyle that characterizes our approach to life. It is how life is lived and as a result, that is what enables us to live a “happy” life.

One statement arrested my attention from our morning devotional. It was a basic reminder that the Lord is “less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes our way.” The focus of the devotional was don’t stress over sseking a “trouble-free” or “stress-free” life, instead focus your attention on seeking the Lord and glorifying Him in every situation. “The Lord’s Light shines the most brightly through believers who trust the Lord in the dark.”

The antithesis of Proverbs 16:20 is Proverbs 16:18  Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.” Pride blocks the mind, and does not allow it to be open to instruction and arrogance is self-reliance which is the opposite of trust.

This challenge does not come easily or naturally. It is a “supernatural” response, that requires the strength of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Recognizing that in ourselves we can’t, but through Christ we can!