The fourth wise saying of this chapter, like the others, is a couplet of two verses with both commands and promises. This one offers three commands and one promise.
The first command, “Do not be wise in your own eyes” is similar to “lean not on your own understanding” (:5). We desperately need to stop thinking we have all the answers.
“Fear the LORD,” the second command, is the key concept of Proverbs – introduced in chapter 1 and similar to “trust in the LORD with all your heart” (also :5). Fearing the LORD is seeing God as He really is. He does have all the answers…and the power to bring all of it to pass.
The third command is to “shun evil.” This is the basis of a popular phrase in recovery – having a constant commitment to “just do the next right thing.”
The promise of this wise saying is “health” and “nourishment” for my physical well-being. The concept here is that thinking right and making appropriate commitments helps us get and stay healthier.
Sheila is an organizational consultant and professional life coach with whom I have worked at both Helping Up Mission and the Associates for Biblical Research. She recently shared about a conference she organized with 50 CEO’s and a health consultant.
Sheila noted how powerfully this healthcare professional insisted on the importance of a positive attitude as central to a healthy life. Thinking right and doing right things simply sets us up to feel good about ourselves.
Modern healthcare professionals say this is the best thing we can do for our health, relationships and careers. But we heard it here (Proverbs 3:7-8) first!