Posts tagged ‘Proverbs and Sayings’

Proverbs 12 – Words Matter

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
~ Proverbs 12:18

I have often been this guy.  I’m not sure if I’ve actually hurt other people with my words, but many times I know that I could have said things in a better way to “bring healing” instead of causing strife.

And of course it’s always those closest to me, like my wife, who catch the brunt of it.  And its’ something that I need to be constantly reminded of.

Words matter, they carry emotion, they carry what we believe about the world, they carry what we believe about God.  When we take stabs at people we betray the anger and hurt that is in our own heart.

What anger and hurt do I have in my heart?  I need to examine it until I am aware of what it causing it so that I can become whole and bring healing to others instead of more pain

Proverbs 11 –

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
but a just weight is his delight.
~Proverbs 11:1

A while back my dad was buying shrimp from some shrimpers who were selling their catch roadside.  As they began to weigh his purchase he noticed that they poured an awful lot of  ice on the scales with it, thus weighing more and giving my dad less shrimp.  My dad commented on it so the guy took the ice off, and my dad happened to look down and the guy had his hand pushing down on the scale to make it weigh more.  Of course my dad got it all straight before he left, but it was a pretty crazy experience.

I have to remember this when I price jobs, I’m a contractor, because I want to give people a fair price no matter what.  When I am honest, especially when times are financially tough, I show that my faith and security is not solely in my own ability.  But I have a higher and stronger place to lean and rely on.

It seems that scripture is more concerned with how we live our lives, than with how well we live.  How well we live is relative and lends itself to comparing ourselves with others and competition.

When you treat people right and have honest dealings, you may not get rich financially, but you will have everything you need and you will have wealth in many other ways.

Proverbs 10 – Money as god

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
~Proverbs 10:2-5

This is a section of Proverbs meant to encourage a righteous work ethic.  It is important to remember that the Proverbs are not promises, but are everyday axioms, general truths to live by.  For the most part if you follow Proverbs you’ll live a long happy prosperous life, and if you don’t then you’ll have strife and poverty.

Of course we all know people, and see people on tv or read about them, that are crooked or immoral and seem to be prospering.  And the Bible answers this elsewhere, which I don’t feel inclined to get into here now, but suffice to say that prosperity and peace are not their final end

Although Proverbs are true for all people, regardless of their faith or non-faith, they are especially true for believers in the God of the Bible, and as believers we are called to do business in a way that reflects our faith in God.

What I mean is that once we realize that everything we have ultimately comes from God then we are free to make decisions more on a moral level, and not so much on a financial level.

When you sacrifice your beliefs for money, you are serving money as god of your life, and you are laying down your good deeds at its altar.  How can you serve two gods?  You can’t.

Make the right decision and trust in God that everything will still work out ok, even if things don’t work out the way you want or financially in your favor, you will still be blessed

Proverbs 9 – The Scoffer

Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

~Proverbs 9:7-9

I remember quite vividly several times when my parents told me things about myself I did not want to hear.  And I remember reacting immaturely to say the least.   A few days later (or in some cases… a few years) I would come around and realize what they said was true, and I would have to humble myself.

I noticed this pattern after a while; and slowly over time I began to accept reproof more quickly and easily.  I know I still have a long way to go, but at least my eyes are open to it and I suppose that is a way forward.

It seems that a wise man knows how to judge if a person is able to take feedback or criticism.  Some people seem to have an innate ability for discernment.  Still for those like me it has taken time; and trial and error to develop it.

Like any good gift discernment will grow with its use.  I may get it wrong, and when I do I hope to be wise enough to be honest with myself and learn from it.  And I’ll judge rightly as well, and over time I hope to be doing it more and more, as I grow in wisdom and discernment.

Proverbs 8 – The Greatest Sport

Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.

~Proverbs 8:1-5

Wisdom is not something that will just come to you own its own.  It is something that comes only if you desire it enough to go find it.  And it is there to find.  All who look for it can find it.

It is an ongoing process, not a one time event, but more of a way of life.

If most of my days consist of work, coming home, getting on Facebook, watching TV, and minimal family involvement; and if my only excitement is an upcoming sporting event or concert; then I would question if I were earnestly desiring wisdom.

Each week I see people excited about LSU or the Saints playing, and I cant help but wonder if those guys were half as much into scripture or seeking wisdom then we would have theologians galore.

When I pursue wisdom, I find something better than money and wealth.  If I hunt for wisdom I obtain something more valuable than entertainment or sports.  When I am desperate for wisdom I possess life.

Proverbs 4 – cheat codes for wisdom

Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
~Proverbs 4:5-6 

One of the saddest things about reading Proverbs is considering that Solomon, known as the wisest man to have ever lived, and perhaps the richest, forsook his wisdom toward the end of his life and forsook the God who so blessed him with that wisdom. (see 1 Kings 11)

When does a person have enough wisdom that they can rest on what they’ve done and achieved in the past?

My tendency is to be lazy and lax, both spiritually and otherwise, so the continual action of going after wisdom is probably the biggest part of being wise.

Getting started is the hardest part f most activities.  Once I start doing it I dont want to stop. If I clean and organize my closet I want to do all the closets.  When I go out and weed the flowerbed I feel good and I want to do it everyday.

But when I go a long time without doing something I dread doing it.  I havent played guitar since the end of November and I know I’m probably going to lead worship next month and I’m dreading getting my stuff out and working on it.  I just dont feel like it.

And so it is with desiring and finding wisdom.  And ultimately it is a gift from God to even realize that you even need wisdom.