Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. -Proverbs 15:10, KJV
The Bible is clear: we are all sinners in need of a change of heart and a Savior from the penalty of sin.
Those who think it is shameful and wrong to call people sinners … hate to hear they need to change.
It may grieve them to hear they need to change, but they stop there, feeling hurt and offended… and all that is left for them is everlasting death.
A good kind a grief is being corrected and feeling remorse for sin. That remorse should lead to repentance, a changing of mind about what is true and good, and turning to the everlasting life found in Christ.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, death, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, life and death, paths of life, Warnings | posted in Paths of Life, Warnings
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. -Proverbs 12:3, KJV
I can already hear what some people are saying:
If a man can’t be established by wickedness, then why do so many tyrants, despots, and fearmongerers take power?
The short answer is that they have effectively sold their souls to the Devil.
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Here is the kicker, though: we know that their foundation is weak. Christ is the firm foundation on which stand.
These leaders are like trees growing in dry, drought-wrought land. They seem strong and powerful, but when storm clouds come, they will be easily uprooted.
As Christians, however, we are grafted into the strong Root of Jesse.
And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
When Jesus returns (or these leaders die), then it will be known how faulty their foundations were, that God is the only true foundation to have. Their roots will be torn up, but our powerful God is our own root.
Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Devil, Good foundations, hope, Jesus, Kingdoms, paths of life, righteous, Sell your soul, The Wicked, Warning | posted in Paths of Life, The Righteous, The Wicked, Warnings
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. -Proverbs 12:1, KJV
My dad has always loved knowledge. For a long time he had a subscription to National Geographic magazine. He still enjoys watching a good documentary. (Sometimes even a bad documentary.)
He made sure his children understood why he loves these things, to be able have a better understanding of our world and the people and places in it. Then he could avoid stupid mistakes, or, when a mistake was made or he flat out did something wrong, he could learn from it.
A friend of mine had (yes, past tense) a dad who “never did anything wrong.” He taught his kids how to weasel out of responsibility, to not get caught. Since nothing was his fault, he could live with a “clean conscience” knowing no one was coming after him. His only sense of discipline was in crafting better excuses and his body to deal with those who got in his way. (One day, this mentality is what helped lead to his … past tense-ness.)
Clearly, my dad’s instruction and discipline helped to lead me toward Christ (which then led my parents to Him).
My friend and his dad never (or at least not yet, for my friend) saw a need for the Savior. If nothing is your fault, you are guiltless, right? It is easier to fight or weasel your way out of trouble.
Wisdom sees our need for knowledge and correction, and those will ultimately lead to our good God.
Oh, and happy father’s day!
1 Comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Correction and Discipline, Dad, discipline, Family, Father, Fathers, Knowledge, Learning, Parent, paths of life, Reproof, Wisdom | posted in discipline, Knowledge, Parenting, Paths of Life
A false balance is abomination to the Lord : but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. -Proverbs 11:1-3 KJV
Dishonesty, or lying, is an abomination to God. Think about: He made it one of the 10 commandments! (#9, Exodus 20:16, Deuteronomy 5:20)
Dishonesty denies the image of God in others. It is the same as saying other people are worthless.
It also leads to problems.
Something to arise in the most recent recession (about 2008) was the business of buying gold. You can bring in your jewelry and knickknacks to be weighed and sold based on the current market value. If a merchant used poorly (or fraudulently) calibrated scales, they could pay you far less than the current value. (I spent a very short time doing this, and they usually purchased an average of 15% below market value to make a profit.)
Who does it profit? Obviously the merchant.
Wait and See
One positive to government regulation is that there are frequent inspections to stop people from falsifying their scales. Those caught had to pay huge fines and permanently close up shop. At worst, they also went to jail.
When dishonesty is used, it is usually found out. Just look at the news on almost any given day, when business and government leaders are caught in the act of deceiving people.
Usually, it is because their pride convinces them that they are smarter than everyone else or that they are above everyone else, that the rules don’t apply to them.
But wait and see, their deeds will catch up to them.
It may not be in this life, but there will be consequences.
However, living honestly and with integrity not only protects you from bad consequences in this life, but it can lead you to live like God, who cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18), and to Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Business, cheats, Dishonesty, Gold, Government, honesty, humility, Liars, money, paths of life, Pride, scales, truth, Warning, Weights, Wisdom | posted in Money and Finances, Truth, Warnings
Proverbs chapter eleven is all about integrity.
What does inegrity entail?
Telling the truth and doing what’s right is important. Honesty is life-affirming, acknowledging the image of God in others, and, honestly, keeping life simple. It is easier to keep your story straight when you tell the truth and do what’s right.
Doing what’s right, doing what one ought, is also life-affirming. Sin is most often associated with what we did wrong, but it includes what we don’t do that we should. If we did what was needed when it should be done (right away or when time allows), life would be easier. Owning mistakes is included, as growth comes more quickly. It is irresponsible to shift the blame or hope “someone else will do it.” It is better to do what is right, even if someone else could or should do it.
Giving to others or taking up the burden of another demonstrates generosity. And – you probably guessed it – it is life affirming. It shows love to others. It tells others “You are worth it.” It clears up problems before they even exist or before they are out of control.
Living with Integrity
If you want to live with integrity, live out the concepts of Proverbs. Take five minutes and read the entire chapter and see how integrated and interrelated all of these concepts are.
They represent God’s character, and living with integrity makes your character more like His.
“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, generosity, Giving, honesty, Integrity, paths of life, responsibility, Wisdom, Work | posted in giving/charity, Paths of Life, Wisdom, Work
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. -Proverbs 10:23, ESV
The past 20 years has shown so many movies and TV shows that glorify dangerous and stupid acts as comedy. In fact, as of this writing there is a new film being released by a veteran of this genre about an amusement park that minimizes safety (and they do all their own stunts).
All for a laugh.
What pains me is that this veteran of “comedy” is incredibly intelligent and a good actor.
A Changed Man
I have written in these pages before about my own life. When I was in high school, before Christ grabbed hold of me, I had pretty much given up on this world. I was a master liar who manipulated situations to cause pain to others. I found it a joke, much like these movies, but only on the emotional and psychological levels as opposed to physical.
But when Christ transformed my mind by His Holy Spirit, those “jokes” were no longer funny. Suddenly wisdom and compassion were my joy.
This is the difference between the world and a Christian. The world sees pain as a joke, as entertainment. A Christian sees pain as part of a fallen world, redeemed through Christ’s sacrifice to edify His Church and ultimately end suffering.
If He redeemed this joke of a man to a tool of understanding, He can do it for anyone. Even that “veteran.”
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Fool, Johnny Knoxville, Joke, pain, paths of life, Understanding, Wisdom | posted in Paths of Life
If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. -Proverbs 9:12, KJV
I argued with this verse. Wisdom won (naturally):
Me: “What do you mean?! My wisdom could benefit others, and my scorning of wisdom could hurt others!”
Wisdom: “Ah, but what is the deeper meaning of what I am telling you?”
Me: “Am I wrong?”
Wisdom: “No, but do I lead to, as you quoted me as saying before?”
Me: “The fear of the Lord … OH!”
If we listen to Wisdom, we are led to salavific knowledge. We see our need for a Savior, for Jesus the Messiah. We may lead others to Christ, but it is our own soul that is affected. We cannot do that for others.
If we scorn Wisdom, we deny we need the help of the Savior. We may lead others astray, but it is our own soul that is affected.
As I asked yesterday, how do YOU respond to God’s Wisdom? Do you scorn Wisdom or affirm Wisdom? Do you choose eternal life or death?
Leave a comment | tags: affirmation, Book of Proverbs, Choice, Choices, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, Lady Wisdom, paths of life, Scorn, Wisdom | posted in Paths of Life, Wisdom
Proverbs 3:5 is probably the most famous verse in all of chapter three. As a matter of fact, one post this week has already addressed it.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
However, one part is worth another look, if for no other reason than to remind us once again of something we should already know.
“All” means all.
How often do we say we trust God, but then fall back on our own knowledge, experience, and conscience when His leading seems to conflict with our understanding? We read His commands, sense the Spirit’s leading, but then doubt Him.
There are parts of our hearts that don’t want to yield. They will fight, kick, and scream in order to have their way. The Lord will ask us to do something, only to have a part of us reply, “But my heart disagrees.”
Verse 6 tells us that when we let the Lord have control, He will “direct” our paths. That means He will make the paths of life straight, passable, smoother, and more direct. In other words, it may be the “straight and narrow,” but it will get you where you need to go without the damage to your suspension a rutted, pothole-filled highway may bring. Yet, how often we say, “My heart is telling me to go another way,” only to find ourselves beaten, scarred, busted, and way off track by the time we reach our destination.
Point: Your heart is like an outdated GPS that will leave with flat tires, busted shocks, and more than a few stains on the upholstery. Why not give your heart to Jesus and let Him take the wheel?
After all, He’s already been smoothing out the road.
1 Comment | tags: Heart, paths of life, proverbs, trust, Wisdom | posted in advice, Paths of Life
21 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:
22 For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
23 For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress. (KJV)
21 Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up:
22 a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food;
23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress. (ESV)
Out of Place
There are some things that simply should not be.
A liberal should not lead a conservative gathering. A coffee shop should not try to serve gourmet three-course meals. An atheist should not lead a religious meeting.
These would be out of place, and it would lead to problems.
The Bible tells us some things out of place are:
- A servant or slave who becomes a king. He may wish to exact revenge on those who were wealthy, and he may become a tyrant.
- A fool who is full. This is the person who is easily addicted to things. When combined with power, this is a truly dangerous person.
- An unloved woman who gets married. This is a woman who does not know how to love or be loved. She is controlling (through emotions, physical actions, and/or psychological manipulation), contentious, and/or quarrelsome (such as Proverbs 19:13 , 21:9, 25:24, and 27:15).
- A servant who replaces her master. This is the person who gains undeserved influence over others, and can easily lead others down wrong paths.
Some simple truths
The point of all of this is that it is not good for something or someone to be out of place.
A person who cannot handle confrontation or difficult decisions should not be in leadership.
A person with unresolved emotional issues should not offer counsel to others.
A person who does not understand matters of faith should not lead ministries.
A person who is prideful, arrogant, and selfish is unsuited to lead others in charity.
The good news is that our loving Lord can redeem all of us who struggle in any of these areas! May we turn to Him to change our minds, hearts, and lives to do mighty things for His glory!
Great Lord, grant us Your wisdom and understanding. Help us to overcome our selfish and arrogant ways, and change our hearts and minds. Redeem our lives to Your glory!
Leave a comment | tags: Arrogance, Book of Proverbs, Misplaced, paths of life, Pride, Redemption, relationships, Unsuited | posted in Paths of Life, Relationships
3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.
3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. (NIV)
The second half of today’s verse probably does not need much explanation.
Getting prostitutes is not the best way to spend money.
For starters, they can be expensive up front. If they are not expensive up front, and even if they are, they could be even more expensive later.
You may need to also pay for:
- Medical needs
- Medication for said needs
- and much, much more!
Your wealth could be squandered very quickly with prostitutes.
A Happy Father
Wisdom is always the better choice.
It could make you rich, if you are wise with money, but there is no guarantee of that.
It will usually keep you out of trouble (though wicked people often find a way to bring you trouble!)
It is probably true with most parents, but I know when I made wise decisions those were the times my father was the most proud of me.
The satisfaction I think we should all strive for, though, is higher than that.
Solomon became king of Israel at a very young age, and God gave him the chance to ask for anything he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom.
How did God respond? 1 Kings 3:10 tells us:
“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.”
How amazing would it be to know our Heavenly Father, the God, Creator, and Savior of all creation, was happy with us?
Heavenly Father, give your servants discerning hearts to govern our lives and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours, but You?
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Father, money, paths of life, Prostitutes, Solomon, Wisdom | posted in Money and Finances, Paths of Life, Wisdom