Friday, May 27, 2016

My Month in Proverbs, Part 6

Today is my sixth and final post from my month in Proverbs. You can access Parts 1-5 here.

Month in Proverbs Part 6

Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”

Think of fire, so powerful and potentially destructive. Yet, without fuel, it is impotent. This verse makes a parallel between fire and a quarrel. And what feeds a quarrel? Gossip. Our tongues have so much power. And when we don’t control them, it’s amazing what they unleash. Disagreements fly out of proportion when other people’s words get involved. Our tongues need a supernatural taming.

Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

“What is man that you should think of him?” Humans are nothing. Really, what do we have that’s so special? We’re destructive and selfish on our own. It’s God Who makes us worth anything. He chose to create us, and He chooses to care for us. We can rest in that promise. What does tomorrow matter when I’m resting in the arms of God? He’s got everything taken care of. No, I don’t know what the future holds. But I know it’s in His perfect timing and plan. And I can rest in that.

Proverbs 28:19 “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.”

So often I find myself doing exactly this: chasing fantasies. I get so caught up in what I think I want and what might come to be that I lose sight of the here and now. I’m coming to realize that God put me where I am for a reason. Very often, His will is that we keep taking the steps before us. Focus on the task at hand; look for the opportunities God has placed right before you. Don’t get so caught up in pursuing possibilities that you miss now.

Proverbs 29:20 “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”

After reading most of Proverbs, I realize how poorly fools are spoken of. To be called a fool is one of the worst things that can be said of you. Yet here we see that speaking in haste is actually worse. I think out loud all the time, using my words to process my thoughts. And that’s not always bad. It can be quite useful, but I have to be aware of my surroundings. Who am I talking to? What am I talking about? Awareness and discretion are both so important for a Christian. We can’t lose control over our mouths; after all, they are probably the most important part of our bodies.

Proverbs 30:6 “Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and call you a liar.”

Following the Lord is actually quite simple: do what He says with an open heart. So why then do we add new things constantly? To be a good Christian, you must give this much to the poor. If you really want to follow Jesus, you must be in church three times a week. We’ve become modern-day Pharisees, so concerned with adding all these rules that we lose sight of God’s heart. We unnecessarily overcomplicate the Gospel, and that displeases God. We’ve got to stop adding things to that which the Bible clearly spells out. And those things which are personal decisions? We need to leave those between the individual and God.

Proverbs 31:10-31

Most of you probably are quite familiar with this passage, but, if you’d like to read it yourself, click the reference.

One of the most interesting things to me about the so-called Proverbs 31 Woman, the “wife of noble character,” is how capable and prepared she is. She clothes her family and prepares food and purchases fields. Those are not skills one picks up at the drop of a hat. Marriage does not automatically a good wife make. Instead, the wife you will be is a product of the choices you make as a single woman. The same goes for young men. Lord, help me to be productive and forward-thinking. Teach me to be open and teachable, so that you can make me into the woman you want me to be.

So, what do ya’ll think of these verses? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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