The proverbs of Solomon, King David’s son, from Israel: 2 Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline, to help one understand wise sayings. 3 They provide insightful instruction, which is righteous, just, and full of integrity. 4 They make the naive mature, the young knowledgeable and discreet. 5 The wise hear them and grow in wisdom; those with understanding gain guidance. 6 They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings, the words of the wise, and their puzzles. 7 Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7, CEB
We’re familiar with the “good” testimony. We’ve talked about this many times. It’s a narrative that goes like this: I was once lost, now I’m found, now I’m fine. If we’re doing things “right”, will things go well for us? If we don’t have that promise, why bother with this path?
I’m just going to skip that last question. I know I hinted yesterday that I would try to answer it, but I’m not. I just don’t have an answer. Instead, I’ll offer this thought: What if life isn’t really about getting everything right? What if we didn’t have to “progress” in order to be considered faithful?
Here’s what I think we believe. I think we’re usually okay with a little bit of backsliding in our lives if, overall, we feel like we’re “progressing” somehow. In other words, as long as we can observe some progress we’re okay with some backsliding. But that’s just a variation of the “good” testimony (I was lost, and now I’m fine). It assumes that progress is still the goal and takes a slightly more realistic approach to progress.
But what if “progress” isn’t really the goal?