Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 11:30
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls"
fruit of righteousness
This means the results of righteous living. Also, in Hebrew, understanding of the biblical era fruit was the sweetest thing one could have other than honey. To be enjoying fruit meant that one was having dessert. One was rewarded for their perseverance, work, and patience.
tree of life
The Hebrew understanding of the tree of life was that which prolonged life, sustained it, and gave it a quality of existence that was beyond mere biological existence.
In this case the fruit of the righteous life is not just a dessert or extra element but instead what sustains life and allows it to be life beyond just biology.
Solomon is saying that the positive way of living that is righteousness produces a kind and quality of life. Do you want to have a higher quality of life, give up on the selfish route, and instead find ways to be a positive benefit into the lives of those around you so that they expect good and not evil from you?
Remember life is relationships.
No matter how much you possess, if you do not have close people to share with, then your victories are hollow. Life is lived at a higher plain with soul-to-soul contact and connection.
This is the person who applies knowlege in a way that is mutually beneficial to others, yourself, and glorifying to God – the person who is not after their own selfish ends but the good of the family, the good of the society, the good of the business, the glory of God.
This is the Hebrew word laqach which means to take, to accept, to capture, to seize, to win.
Solomon is giving us the clue that we should focus on the person's soul and not their body or material possessions. The person who focuses on connecting and influencing the soul – which is the real person – is the wise person who has a much easier time in life.
This is the Hebrew word nephesh which means soul, living being. It is what happened when God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. The soul is the inner part of the person – the real you which is the collection of your experiences, education, skills, etc., and the software that is you running on the hardware called your body.
The fool tries to win bodies through power, authority, seduction, deception, and the like. But the wise person tries to capture the soul of the person for the project and the relationship.
Have you been focusing on getting people to do what you want instead of winning their soul to your way of thinking?