iProverb is an interactive daily blog on your Practical reflections on the Proverb that corresponds to each day. The purpose is to create a learning community that encourages the application of these Proverbs to every aspect of life. Please limit each entry to 200 words.
If we want to focus on the most important things in life, we must learn to value the things that are most important. Our time, energy and resources will go to the activities we value most. If we treasure wisdom, family, health, and success, that is where our heart (and everything else) will go. If we value folly, self, indulgence, and mediocrity, that is where our heart (and everything else) will go.
Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Makes the point of Proverbs 7:1-4 very clearly, "My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend".
Proverbs 2 presents two calls, one to wisdom, the other to destruction. The one listens to counsel, and the other strays from the path set for them. In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. In the Proverbs there is a battle between temptresses, lady wisdom and lady folly. Our eternal destiny is determined by our choice of lover.
For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;
but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be
torn from it.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and
not your own lips.
I was recently attended an awards banquet to honor educators. It was a celebration of work done on behalf of youth. It was a refreshing evening because it seemed that evening was more than willing to praise the work of their peers, rather than boast about their own accomplishments. Recognition from others triumphed over self-promotion.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
I am grateful for the network of accountability that God has woven into my life. I have peers whom I speak to daily who hold me to my highest ideals. I have a personal coach who speaks words into my life. I even have the privilege of coaching someone. The discipline of having people speaking into my life and speaking into the lives of others makes me a better man.
Proverbs 27:18, 23-24
He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his
master will be honored. Be sure you know the condition of your
flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure
forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.
Faithful stewardship over your possessions will ensure that you will have plenty in your time of need.
Being open with our faults, confessing our sin and turning a way from destruction behavior brings mercy. A pattern of concealing our sins hardens our heart. I have worked with people that were so conditioned by sin that they cannot distinguish between the truth and a lie. They seem disconnected and distant from the people around them, even the people they love - if they can still love them. A harden heart finds it difficult to respect anyone, even God. Without the fear of God to temper their behavior they find themselves in trouble.
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and
renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the
LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool
than for him. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who
Accurate evaluation is crucial to leadership. Without the ability to assess one's ability, many are led to disastrous vocational decisions. We must know ourselves before we know what assignments to take.
Proverbs 26:20, 22
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. The
words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's
Gossips kills. It destroys the reputation of the gossiper and the gossipee. Whenever I hear gossip. I wonder what they are saying about me when I am not around.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter
is the glory of kings.
Why would God hide things from us? I think it is because he wants to grow our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual abilities. When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, do you really think God needed help tending and cultivating the garden? No, his purpose was to give the man a job that would exercise his abilities. Physically he would grow strong by working the land. Emotionally man would have the opportunity to interact with one made just like him in Eve. Mentally he would be challenged to study each animal and give it a name that corresponded to its nature. Spiritually, man would have daily chats with God not only to debrief the day, but to experiencing intimacy with his creator.
God hides a matter so that he can draw the best out of us through our active engagement in trying to make sense of the world he has made.
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering
toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this,"
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who
guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according
to what he has done?
A good friend of mind Josh produced an album and launched a tour this summer to raise awareness of the sex trafficking plague gripping the land. The Voice speaks of the anguish of those affected by this horrible form of human slavery. If you don't know what to say, let the Voice help you gain your voice on behalf of the helpless and hopeless victims of the child sex trade.