Jordan Peterson is an extremely popular psychology professor from the University of Toronto whose self-help books sell by the millions, but he hasn’t yet surpassed the best-selling book in the world: the Bible. The Bible contains 66 books written by over 40 authors over 1,500 years in 3 languages and in 3 continents. Its deep, ancient words have been helping humans for thousands of years. I will next provide Biblical correlates of Dr. Peterson’s latest 12 rules for life to support their wisdom.
1. Do not denigrate social institutions or creative achievement. Examples of social institutions include government, religion, and the family unit. Examples of creative achievement include Dr. Seuss’ books and the Looney Tunes cartoons. Today, people have been denigrating all, demonstrating their desire to muffle free speech and topple free markets. Some hate our country and the Christian foundations upon which it was built.
Mark 10:2-9 states, “And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
In Mark 12:17, Jesus distinguished the importance of both government and God. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
2. Imagine who you could be and then aim single handedly at that.
Proverbs 4:25-26 states, “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”
In Ephesians 4:1-5, Paul says, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”
3. Do not hide unwanted things in the fog.
In Matthew 5:29, Jesus says, “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
In 2 Corinthians 4:2, Paul states: “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
At the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended unto Jesus’ disciples who were given the ability to speak many languages, astounding the people around them. Acts 2:37-39 reports: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
4. Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.
After Judas Iscariot abdicated his position among the 12 apostles by betraying Jesus, an opportunity to replace him emerged. Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Acts 1:23-25 states: “And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
5. Do not do what you hate.
When we sin, we go against God’s nature, so He has implanted a conscience within us to call out our sins. Our conscience is transcendent to us, just as God transcends us. It is not our own voice that reminds us of what is right and what is wrong and makes us feel guilt and shame when we do the latter. It is God’s voice.
In Romans 2:15, Paul states: “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”
6. Abandon ideology.
Ideology is defined by the Free Dictionary as “a set of doctrines or beliefs that are shared by the members of a social group or that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.” As religious beliefs can fall under that same definition, I suggest readers abandon unsound or untrue ideology.
In Proverbs 4:1, the wise King Solomon writes, “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus states, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
John 8:31-32: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
7. Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.
What should that one thing be? We are called to identify our spiritual gifts and to capitalize on them.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul states, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” … And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
8. Try to make one room in your home as beautiful as possible.
Surrounding ourselves with beauty in art, design, and music helps us to remain peaceful and in good cheer. Taking the time to enjoy nature is also important as the skies, mountains, beaches, pastures, trees, ponds, and flowers all around us demonstrate God’s wonder, artistry, creativity, and handiwork.
King David states in Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
9. If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely.
Putting into words the memories that haunt us is one way to address them and overcome them. If the memories include others’ wrongdoings, it’s important that we forgive our trespassers. Forgiveness deals a deathblow to anger, resentment, and grief. If the memories include our own wrongdoings, we should forgive ourselves and repent.
In Romans 4:7, Paul writes: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”
10. Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship.
1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Ecclesiastes 9:9 “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.”
11. Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant.
Romans 1:28-30 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,”
12. Be grateful in spite of your suffering.
Throughout Paul’s ministry, he was pursued by persecutors, yet he continuously rejoiced to the Lord and gave thanks.
In Acts 16: 22-25, Luke reports: “And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
Paul lamented the “thorn in his side” until God explained why in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
God’s wisdom is revealed in His Word, the Logos. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Let’s go out and share His Good News with the world. We’re called to be a light in a world of darkness and to give evidence to those who inquire about our hope.