The other day I Googled the phrase “How to Live Well.” 19.5 trillion entries popped up. Yikes! Apparently a lot of people have something to say on this matter. And I do as well in today’s episode. But it’s going to be different than what my 19.5 trillion colleagues are offering up, I’m sure.

But before we get into all this, welcome to You Were Made for This. If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.

I am your host John Certalic.  As an award-winning author and relationship coach, I'm here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.

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Today’s episode, number 168, is about a really important relationship God designed for you and me; namely, a relationship with Him! It’s where we’ll find the greatest amount of joy, for He teaches us how to live well in so many practical ways. For example, he devoted a whole book of the Bible to this subject, drawing from the life of Solomon. the wisest man who ever lived.

I’ll read the first chapter of this book from the Bible, the Book of Proverbs, and then comment from time to time as I read. It’s only 33 verses, so it won’t take long. As I read, notice the contrast between people who are wise, and those who are not, and notice the practical advice Solomon has for how to live well here in the 21st century.

NOTE: The comments I interject in reading of Proverbs 1 appear only in the audio version

The Purpose of Proverbs

1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
  to help them understand the insights of the wise.
  3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
 to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
  4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
 knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
 Let those with understanding receive guidance
, 6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
 the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
 but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom

8 My child, listen when your father corrects you.
 Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
  9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace
    and be a chain of honor around your neck.
10 My child, if sinners entice you,
 turn your back on them!
  11 They may say, “Come and join us.
 Let’s hide and kill someone!
    Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
  12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave;
 let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
  13 Think of the great things we’ll get!
 We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
  14 Come, throw in your lot with us;
 we’ll all share the loot.”
15 My child, don’t go along with them!
 Stay far away from their paths.
  16 They rush to commit evil deeds.
 They hurry to commit murder.
  17 If a bird sees a trap being set,
 it knows to stay away.
  18 But these people set an ambush for themselves;
 they are trying to get themselves killed.  
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
 it robs them of life.

Wisdom Shouts in the Streets

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
  She cries out in the public square.
  21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
 to those gathered in front of the city gate:
  22 “How long, you simpletons,
 will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
 How long will you fools hate knowledge?
  23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
 and make you wise.
24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
 I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.  
25 You ignored my advice
 and rejected the correction I offered.
  26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
 I will mock you when disaster overtakes you —
  27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
  when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
  and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
 Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
  29 For they hated knowledge
 and chose not to fear the Lord.
  30 They rejected my advice
 and paid no attention when I corrected them.
  31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
 choking on their own schemes.
  32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
 Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
    untroubled by fear of harm.”

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

So what does all this mean for YOU?

If you start going through the 19.5 trillion Google entries for “how to live well” I mentioned at the beginning, I’m sure you’ll find some things that sound attractive. But most of them are about behavior.

Solomon, however, takes it a step further and talks about behavior rooted in our relationship with God and our reverence for Him and all that he stands for. Which raises the question for all of us, namely, how much do my values align with God’s values?

Here’s the main takeaway I hope you remember from today’s episode

The answer to “how to live well” is found in growing in wisdom by looking beyond ourselves. It’s to live in reverence to God and embrace what is important to Him, and then live accordingly.

I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode.


In closing, I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to ask yourself how wise are you living? Are you growing wiser as you allow the Spirit of God to teach you how to live well?

For when you do, it will help you experience the joy of relationships God designed for you. Because as you know by now, You Were Made for This.

Well, that’s it for today. Please consider telling others about this podcast if you think it would be interesting and helpful to them. And don’t forget to spread a little relational sunshine around the people you meet this week. Spark some joy for them. And I’ll see you next time.

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