Continuing with the series I started a few weeks ago, here are a few more verses from my journey through Proverbs.
Proverbs 6:12-14 “A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet, and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart – he always stirs up conflict.”
These verses may be speaking of a scheming criminal, but it makes me think of a predatory flirt. Some people view dating as a game, and they are very good at it. But I don’t want a guy who’s good at playing the game. I want a guy who says what he means, who isn’t flirting with every girl he sees. Some people successfully mask their intentions with a pretty face and sweet-sounding words. The guy (or girl) who’s always putting people at each other’s throats, though, is nothing but trouble, no matter how charming.
Proverbs 7:22-23 “All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into the noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”
We so quickly jump into folly, barely even thinking about the consequences. It feels good, so we run full-tilt without thinking. Emotions are wonderful, but they can be immensely misleading. So often they run hand-in-hand with folly, taking us where we shouldn’t go. We can’t let our emotions lead us into destruction.
Proverbs 8:2-3 “At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud.”
Wisdom must be a part of our decision-making. In these verses, Wisdom stands where people make decisions: changing paths, entering contracts. Making choices is a huge part of life. Making those choices in our own strength, though, is pointless; we need God’s strength in order to make the right ones.
Proverbs 9:7-8 “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.”
We have to be aware of who we’re talking to. Good intentions and sound judgment are wasted on fools. In the same way, am I someone who takes criticism in the spirit it’s intended? I know that I struggle here. The wise recognize good advice and learn from criticism instead of being offended.
Proverbs 10:19 “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”
I am not great at holding my tongue. Silences unnerve me. If I think of something, I feel the need to say it. But it’s not important just because I thought of it. There is nothing that says my thoughts are the center of the universe. And I’m pretty sure most of the stuff coming out my mouth is completely unnecessary. I need wisdom to guard my tongue.
What do these verses make you think of? Let me know in the comments!