Proverbs has long been one of my favorite books of the Bible. There is so much information, so much depth to the book, that it is both overwhelming and encouraging. Needless to say, when I had the opportunity to read and review Sarah Callen’s newest devotional book, A Proverb a Day: A 40-day Pursuit of Wisdom, I was thrilled. This book released on March 5th, 2019 and is only available for Kindle at this time, however, if you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, it’s free. As I began to read through this book, I thought that Sarah did a good job of laying out her thoughts in a way that were scripturally based, relatable to everyone, and not too daunting.
If you’ve studied scripture at all or read the book of Proverbs, you’ll probably notice the inconsistency in the title of Callen’s book and the number of chapters in the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, not 40, however, the reader is still encouraged to read a chapter of Proverbs (almost) every day. The only exceptions to this are the first day and the last day, which are dedicated to the introduction of the book and a recap of what the author hopes God has shown the reader through this study. There are also a few chapters, in which you are encouraged to read for multiple days as Sarah goes into more depth.
That being said, scripture is central to the daily readings and questions that the reader is encouraged to answer.
Relatable to Everyone
This study really is one for which it can be said, “The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.” The reader is encouraged every day to slowly read the proverb, pray over it, and focus on what God wants the individual to hear. Sarah often picks a verse or a theme from the daily proverb and writes her own personal essay about what that has meant in her life. She does a good job of including everyone, yet being vulnerable about what God has taught her. She goes into areas of her personal life such as singleness, but doesn’t dwell there.
The open-ended questions help this study to be beneficial for fairly new believers as well as those who have been walking with the Lord for decades. The only exception, from my perspective, would be brand new believers, but I still think they could benefit if they had a mentor or someone walking through the study with them. A few examples in the book need some previous biblical knowledge to understand.
Not Too Daunting or Overwhelming
If you’re anything like me, you can sit down to read a chapter from Proverbs and quickly become overwhelmed. I know people who read through the book of Proverbs every month since there are 31 chapters and the same number of days in some months. I’ve tried that plan a few times over the years and quickly become frustrated, trying to fit it into a timeline. Often there were details I wanted to unpack, ideas I wanted to pray over or study more, and concepts that took me longer than a day to understand.
Sarah does a good job of going through the book on a timeline, but not making it overwhelming. She is very clear from the beginning that she wants the reader to take it slow, really seek God, and not be tied down to a timeline. She doesn’t go into every detail of every verse, but will often pick a few verses or a theme to dwell on. Her open-ended questions at the beginning and end of each day’s reading allow the reader to dig deeper if they want to, but if that’s not where you’re at, the few verses she talks about are helpful too. The whole book is an invitation to grow in your faith, to grow in wisdom, and to increase your love for God.
I’ll leave you with this quote from day two in the book: “Probably the most incredible part of our pursuit of wisdom is the fact that we will never ‘arrive.’ We always have room to grow in the wisdom department, and Solomon acknowledges that.”
Karly Grant is a 30-something, single, enneagram 9, follower of Jesus who likes to keep life entertaining and real. The circumstances of the last few years of her life have held many twists and turns, but she can’t wait to see where God leads. She has a heart for adoption and is waiting to see where the Lord guides her on this path. She can often be found in a coffee shop, curled up with a good book, or spending quality time laughing and having fun with her family and friends.