Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 3:22
"So they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck"
Solomon continues his persuasive discussion of the power of sound wisdom and discretion. It makes a significant difference in your life – both internally and externally – if you do not go down the path of foolishness but instead cling to sound wisdom and discretion. It is interesting that this is not so much about avoiding foolishness but instead the positive benefits of wisdom and discretion.
This is the Hebrew word haya, which means live, live prosperously, be alive, sustain life. It is about the animating principle of life. Notice that in this instance it is spoken about the soul. Solomon is saying that it is possible to inject more life into your soul; to have a soul that is truly alive, living prosperously. This means, on the other hand, that if you focus on selfish behavior, impulsive actions, and rebellious actions, then you will inject death and damage into your soul.
How does this work? Well LIFE IS RELATIONSHIPS and your ability to manage, develop, and strengthen those relationships is what the inner man feeds off of. If you are stupid, selfish, impulsive, proud, sarcastic, rebellious, you destroy relationships and therefore your soul has less to live on. It then deals with the relationships that your actions and words have crushed. When are you the most down and depressed? When a relationship that is really important to you has been lost or severely damaged. It is the relational energy of life that allows your soul to dance. When you – through willful actions – destroy the very things that you need to enjoy life, you lose even while you are doing what you want.
I watch husbands and wives destroy their marriage through selfishness, sarcasm, and denial and then they wonder why they have such a bad marriage. I watch people work slowly, bad mouth their boss, do personal work at the job, and then wonder why they don't get the raise or the promotion. I watch people focus on themselves, put others down, gossip about their friends, and then wonder why they don't have as many friends as they would like. Solomon is screaming at us: Wisdom: looking for the triple-win will preserve the relationships in life and feed your soul what it needs to live off of.
This is the Hebrew word hen, which means favor or grace but also refers to a charm or adornment in a few cases. Solomon is saying that if you feed your soul with wisdom and discretion, it will show on your face and body. You will be a different person to those who look at you. Physically these inner righteous ways will change your look. It is a good change.