“He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.”
Not A Good Deal
Do you know what BOGO means? It stands for “Buy One Get One” free. My wife and I have argued for years what is the better way of going; buying one at regular price and getting a second for free or just buying one and only paying half price. I am sure that every one will agree with me that “two for the price of one” is a much better deal!
But not in the case of Proverbs 17:20!
Our verse not only talks about a “froward heart” but it also mentions a “perverse tongue”. It goes on to state that these will lead to no good and mischief.
Let’s define two words: “froward” and “perverse” (Definitions are from Merriam-Webster)
- FROWARD: habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
- PERVERSE: turned away from what is right or good | obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable, or accepted
Do these definitions sound like someone you know? Do these definitions sound like you?
So Where’s The BOGO?
We may not be actually buying a physical product at the store, but by the way we live our lives we may not only have a “froward heart” (BUY ONE) but our heart will lead us to having a “perverse tongue” (GET ONE). Matthew 12:34 says, “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (ESV)
Solomon is telling us that neither of these are good character traits to have and neither of them will end well. This is one more reason why we need to make Proverbs 4:23 a priority in our lives.
Lord, I pray that You would help us to guard our hearts will all diligence and keep our eyes focused on you. Help us to guard our hearts and to keep our tongues as we should. Keep us striving to be more and more like You!
Leave a comment | tags: BOGO, ESV, Froward, Heart, Perverse, proverbs, tongue | posted in Uncategorized, Warnings
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”
Pain & Sadness
When I was engaged to be married to a woman who was not quite right for me, it dragged us both down. When I knew God did not want me with that woman, I knew I had to end the relationship.
The bad news is that I did not want to. This led to a deep depression. My heart was so heavy that it held me in place, emotionally and physically. I was practically useless for a couple of weeks and literally useless for a few days, those last days of which I sat slouched on a couch not moving except to go to the bathroom.
My heavy heart literally made me stoop and slouch.
I was in mourning for a relationship that had yet to end.
It seemed that nothing anyone said could help.
The thing that did it was a dear brother in the Lord saying “God loves you. Show Him you love Him, too.”
It made me realize how to live out Jesus’ words: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
I needed to show God that I loved Him more than anything or anyone else. It took a friend’s words to lift me up and make me move.
Kindness & Love
It is a great kindness to share a good word with someone with a heavy heart full of pain and/or sadness. It should be done with love, and that love should be the love of God.
Someone can offer a kind word, even a good word, to someone, but if it is done at the wrong time or in the wrong way it can have the opposite effect.
Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing at all. It is just to sit there, to be there.
God of mercy and kindness, thank You for leading us to and through those times of pain and sadness. Thank You that You also provide us with those people and words that can lift us up to gladness, again. Give us a heart to share that love and kindness to others, and give us the wisdom to know when to speak and when to simply be there.
Leave a comment | tags: advice, Counsel, Gladness, Heart, Mercy, pain, Sadness, Speech | posted in advice, affection, conversation/speech, counsel, Love, Mercy
As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
As a child, one of the things that I learned very quickly was that if my parents told me “To Do” or “Not To Do” something over and over again, I knew that it must be important, and I either better do it or not do it. In the same way as my parents, Solomon is giving us multiple warnings about which path we should choose – righteousness or evil. Here are just a few of the examples:
- Proverbs 10:6 – “Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
- Proverbs 12:2 – “A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn”
- Proverbs 14:11 – “The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.”
The warnings are out there and we must heed them with all our heart!
It’s Our Choice
Even if we can clearly see the warning signs that are out there, it is still our choice to live a righteous life or to “pursue evil”. We can see in this verse that “he” made a choice to go after evil. The word “pursue” has several meanings:
- To follow in order to catch or attack
- Seek to attain or accomplish
- Continue or proceed along a path
- Engage in
In each one of these definitions there is one constant – there is a choice that must be made! We must make the choice daily to run in the opposite direction of sin and run into the arms of a loving and gracious God. We need to remember the words of James 1:15 that says, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” If we continue down the path toward evil, it will eventually lead us to death!
The warning signs are all around us, but it is still up to us to make the right choice as to which path our lives will lead. Will we take the path of righteousness or will we pursue evil? I hope each one of us can live out the words that Joshua said in Joshua 24:15,
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Lord, help us to pursue YOU with all our heart! No matter what may come our way, help us to choose YOU! Help us to stand firm on our Word and make you our refuge until that glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior!
1 Comment | tags: Choice, death, evil, Heart, Life, proverbs, Righteousness, Serve, Warning Signs | posted in Temptation, The Righteous, Warnings
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
The heart is more that just our affections, as some people think. The heart encompasses mind, emotions and will. The heart is often spoken of in God’s Word as our innermost being. You can say that our heart determines who we are.
Oswald Chambers said this about the heart…
The Bible term “heart” is best understood if we simply say “me,” it is the central citadel of a man’s personality. The heart is the altar of which the physical body is the outer court, and whatever is offered on the altar of the heart will tell ultimately through the extremities of the body.
The Bible informs us that the heart is a critical center of life which touches and impacts all we are and all we do. The NIV says it this way – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
When it comes down to it, our heart determines who we are and what we do. That is why, over and over in scripture, God talks about how we need to protect our hearts. The Bible warns us to avoid:
- A Double Heart – Psalm 12:2
- A Hard Heart – Proverbs 28:14
- A Proud Heart – Proverbs 21:4
- An Unbelieving Heart – Hebrews 3:12
- A Cold Heart – Matthew 24:12
- An Unclean Heart – Psalm 51:10
We all know that when we go to the doctor that he is going to listen to our heart. Just by listening, the doctor is able to tell if there is something wrong or not.
Each and every day, we need to listen to our spiritual heart! We need to listen to see if what we are, and what we are doing is matching up with God and what he wants for our lives. Above all else, we must keep our heart focused on God!
One little sin, what harm can it do?
Give it free reign and soon there are two.
Then sinful deeds and habits ensue—
Guard well your thoughts, lest they control you. —DJD
My prayer is that each day we would pray Psalm 139:23 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart…”
4 Comments | tags: Bible, Book of Proverbs, God, Heart, Oswald Chambers, Psalms, Solomon | posted in affection, counsel, desire
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. -Luke 2:19, KJV
The song “Mary, Did You Know” asks several questions about what Mary knew about her newborn Son before He grew up.
For most of those questions, the answer is basically “yes.” She may not have understood the full depth of things nor known of the specifics of how it would happen, but she thought about it.
She and Joseph wondered at shepherds and wealthy foreigners coming to visit this baby of hers. She heard prophecies about this boy growing up to bring peace and healing to faithful people of God, taking over the government, and suffering for the sins of the world.
And what does she do hearing all of this?
. . . but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. -Luke 2:51b
May we be a people who treasure God’s Word in our hearts and minds, pondering them and sharing the good news that Jesus has come to take away our sins, as prophesied, and is prophesied to come again for the full redemption of His faithful servants.
Lord Jesus, give us a love for Your Word, teaching us to memorize Scripture and share Your love and forgiveness, as well as Your immanent return.
1 Comment | tags: Advent, Affection, Christmas, Christmas Hope, Coming, devotion, Heart, Jesus, Joseph, Knowledge, Mary, Mary Did You Know, Mother, Ponder, Pondered, Second Coming, treasure, Word, Word of the Lord | posted in affection, Knowledge
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. -Proverbs 28:26, KJV
We live in a world today that frequently tells us to “just follow your heart, it will lead you true.” And many people rely on their reason even knowing they know very little of our reality.
That second point is striking. The most optimistic scientists say we may know 6% of everything there is to know about the Universe. Yet, atheists will argue there is no evidence for God. But there is at least 94% that we don’t even know about!
However, we can trust our heart, right?
God tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
In our fallen, sinful state, we cannot trust our heart. We are selfish and want to believe what feels good, not necessarily what is true and good.
It affects our emotions, thoughts, and reason.
The wise person realizes that there is a God, who has a standard and has revealed it and Himself to His Creation – through the written Scriptures and the incarnation of Jesus.
Trusting our own heart and reason may lead us deep into sin.
Trusting the God revealed in the Bible and through the Son will deliver us from sin.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Delivered, Heart, Knowledge, Mind, salvation, Saved, Sin, trust, Wisdom | posted in Knowledge, Wisdom
The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Proverbs 25:3, KJV
There are three ways to understand this verse, I think:
- Very few throughout all of history can understand the pressures, stresses, and rewards of leading a people as ruler or even elected official. Some of us may get an inkling of some idea, but without doing it we will never have a full understanding. (Consider the presidents and prime ministers who enter office with dark hair that turns gray during one term.)
- God, the Creator of all of space and the Earth as well as our Eternal King, can never be fully understood. How can finite creatures understand that much power and majesty or that this God would want to save people who willfully rebel against Him? It will never happen.
- As I mentioned the other day, Christians are are a royal priesthood following our King of kings and High Priest. Unbelievers will try to understand all of space and our Earth, but they may never understand how we can believe in the One who made it all. They will barely if at all attempt to search out our heart for our King.
Most of us will never understand leading a nation, and none of us will ever comprehend the fullness of God.
If we are wise, we will seek out God and contemplate His truths and all He has done for us. We may not understand all He has done, but diving into those unsearchable truths will only bring us closer to and more like that God.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Cosmos, Creator, Earth, God, God's kingdom, Heart, King, Kingdoms, Knowledge, Leaders, leadership, President, Prime Minister, relationships, Searching, Universe, Unsearchable | posted in Knowledge, Relationships
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. -Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV
A quick read-through of verse 20 had me thinking of a salesman, making sales with his smooth talking and eating from the work of his mouth (by buying food).
Then I thought about it longer than a couple of seconds.
A person is satisfied by speaking well of and to others. When a person uses their words to lift up, praise, and edify another – especially by sharing the gospel – there is a satisfaction that fills every part of the body. (Also, church potlucks!) And this comes out of the love of God within us.
But when we do not have God’s love compelling us, all sorts of evil easily flows out, and that usually (and ultimately) leads to receiving the same.
And [Jesus] said, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Mark 7:20-23, KJV
We need to have our hearts and minds changed by the power of Christ’s blood washing us clean. Then our words shall become sweet and evidence the change.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Clean, death, Defile, God's Word, Good Word, Gospel, Harsh words, Heart, Life, life or death, Speech, Word of Life, Words | posted in conversation/speech
God acts from the highest, purest motives.
God expects me to do the same.
Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good. | Proverbs 16:2 (The Message Bible)
Am I impressed by what is in the heart or what looks good? The glory of God is a huge thing. Do I see what others are doing to bring honor to Jesus? Or … do I hold others in contempt because they don’t dress as nice as I think they should?
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. | 1 Corinthians 10:31
What is the desire of my soul? Now that is a stunning question. Think about it. In my heart and soul, what do I really want? For myself? For others?
Is the desire of my heart and soul to love? How am I doing with that?
Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls. | Isaiah 26:8
What is the good news? God has given me a new heart! I am a new creation. The old, evil ways have been washed away.
Does my heart condemn me? God has given me a new heart. It is the heart of His son Jesus. It does not condemn me. I can have confidence. I am whole.
We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God. | 1 John 3:19–21
Leave a comment | tags: Heart, Proverbs 16, satisfaction | posted in Value and Worth
I live in a world where I must respond to others and take orders. I have customers, colleagues, bosses, police, parents, teachers and the list goes on.
“A wise heart takes orders; an empty head will come unglued.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 10:8)
I do have options though.
- I can ignore the person and hope they forget. Sometimes they do.
- I can be obstinate.
- I can be defiant.
- I can say yes and then not do it.
- I can fake obedience.
- I can get too busy.
- I can forget.
I can be too clever some days at avoiding the real issue of simple obedience.
It is a matter of the heart. Do I have a heart that respects authority? Am I willing to serve others? Do I have a slave’s heart for what my Master Jesus wants me to do?
If so, I can be wise.
Do I come unglued when someone in authority asks me to do something? King Solomon concludes I have an empty head. As my dad would say, “That is not right bright”.
God’s goal for me for is to obey. It is most important to obey Jesus. Jesus teaches me to pray, “Your will be done!”
Leave a comment | tags: Heart, obedience, Orders | posted in Wisdom