Do you know that the Chinese have their sought-after ‘trinity’? It’s the trinity of 福禄寿(Blessings, Prosperity and Longevity). Here is the recipe to all three. Read on and find out the ingredients and process to have a taste of the long, blessed and prosperous life.
Wisdom Bestows Well-Being
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life (longevity) many years
and bring you peace and prosperity. (blessings and prosperity)
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
The two key ingredients are love and faithfulness. (v.3) The result and promise to living a life of love and faithfulness is favor and a good name. (v.4)
To be favorable with God and man: this was how Samuel and Jesus were described when they were growing up. Favor means approval, support, popularity. Is it not a great blessing to have the thumbs up of God and man? It is not easy because often, you can get only one or the other. The secret to finding favor with God and man is love and faith. Live the 2 great commandments – love God and love man faithfully.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
These two verses are favorites of many Christians.
Ingredients: There are two positive verbs and one negative. There are also adverbs that describe the verbs.
Positive: Trust (in the Lord with ALL your heart); Submit (in ALL your ways.)
Negative: Lean not (on your own understanding)
Promise: The Lord will make your paths straight.
The next verse explains further how to trust and submit.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
Do not be “queh (false or fake) gao (goodness or wisdom).” The literal Fookienese translation is false goodness or fake wisdom. Synonyms are self-sufficient, proud, conceited, trusting in your own self. It means to be humble. How?
Fear the Lord. It is depending on the Lord. To fear is to honor and obey. It means to desire to please God by avoiding what is bad and staying away from doing evil.
Promise: Health to the body and nourishment to the bones. It means well-being inside and out. Is this not the path to longevity?
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Prosperity! Overflowing and brimming over – just the adjectives many like for their bank accounts. Method? Honor God with our wealth. How? Give the ‘first fruits’ of our labor. First means priority – give to the Lord first – prioritize giving to please Him, to obey Him, to honor Him. It does not mean that we only give ‘at’ church. It means we use our material wealth wisely. How we manage the wealth given us is a matter of stewardship. It is to know that everything comes from God. It is acknowledging that without His grace and mercy, we cannot make money on our own. When we have the right mindset, then we can give generously. Indeed, I have experienced that we can never ‘out-give’ the Lord.
A blessed life is about living wisely. How do we live wisely? Think wisely. How? Seek wisdom. Where? In God’s Word. What did He say? Love and faith – wear these two around our neck. Trust and obey – walk these two with our heart and our feet. Pride and evil – stay away from these two. Work and give. Input-output; manage our wealth wisely.