Tag Archives: proverbs

This Is Wisdom (Use Discretion)

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
Proverbs 3:21‭-‬23

Stumbling and Falling

The late second decade of this millennium has been tumultuous. Businesses are shuttering doors every week. Politicians are stepping down in disgrace. Actors are having careers crumble over night. Even pastors and ministry leaders are losing positions and status in shame.

Movements are continuously rising to combat [real or percieved] injustices. Tensions run high between governments, businesses, institutions, the press, and societies to the point that no one is safe from saying anything without trouble brewing.

Why?

As a whole, we have not kept wisdom, and discretion has long since been discarded.

Sure, some people think they are being discreet, but without sound wisdom. Now, “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Luke 12:3)

And this is what we see today.

A society that lacks wisdom and discretion – that lacks common sense but says and does whatever seems right (or right to them) – is a society of increasing chaos and depravity.

What then shall we do?

Especially as Christians, we should turn to God, live wisely, and use discretion. We do not need to voice our opinion about everything. At least not right away. A friend of mine has a 72-hour rule for major events: wait 72 hours before commenting to make sure more facts are available.

We would be wise to use a similar tactic in relationships – especially on social media!

We would be wise to do this with the news – that too often is merely sensationalism gossip, anymore.

We would be wise to set parameters for ourselves and our relationships.

Perhaps we can at least try to “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5, NIV)

This is necessarily hard, because it is hard getting over ourselves. We do not like confronting our sinful nature.

But that is wisdom.

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“With ALL Thine Heart”

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. 


“My son…”

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments…” – Proverbs 3:1

In order to fully appreciate the first two words of Proverbs 3:1, you need to either be a loving parent or the child of one. I don’t know how else to put it.

But if you are not a parent, or if you have never experienced the love of a caring father, let me see if I can explain the emotion I sense in these opening two words.

I hear begging. I hear pleading. I hear crying.

I can feel the tenseness in the temples. I can feel the tightness in the chest. I can feel the weight on the shoulders that push one down to the floor.

I can feel the pressure put on knees as prayer is being offered up. I can feel the grip on the pen as it’s squeezed mid-sentence, the fingertips turning white as one searches for the right word to pen next.

My son…” It’s an address used 27 times in Proverbs; three times in this very chapter. They are the words of a parent who has been down the road of life, found the potholes, suffered the pain, and longs for nothing less than his children to avoid unnecessary suffering.

Can you put yourself in that position? Imagine knowing the worst that life has to offer: all of the people out there who want nothing more than to destroy your kids, the most precious people in your life, those gifts from God…and you’ve now got one shot to give them the best advice you know.

“My son!” “My daughter!” Do you have children? Do you ever wish you could know just for once that they were really, truly listening to what you are saying? You pray that they will enjoy long life and peace (v. 2), but the odds are they will forget what you tell them, so you say “tie this around your neck” (v. 3).

And yet, we have the Word of God…

…a letter from our Father…

How often we must break His heart!


Getting Past Fake News

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? ̶̶  Proverbs 1:22

It is because of verses like Proverbs 1:22 that some have questioned my publishing name: a simple man of God. In truth, this title simply means cutting through the fluff to keep the truth of God clutter free in life and teaching.

That hits at a major problem in the world today. Many people keep things simplified without due diligence.

The result of this is what is now colloquially called “fake news.” But it is not a problem on one side of any debate. “Fake news” can be found practically everywhere: politics, business, and religion – even within churches.

Why is this?

Because people like having their voices heard, getting their 15 minutes of fame. They like being able to call others out for their faults, and being the first to do it.

Unfortunately, this often comes at the expense of the full truth. In the name of expediency and “justice”, people will – willingly and unwillingly – scorn knowledge and people on the wings of rumors and half-truths. Then others want to help by spreading this propaganda and “news” without reading (or often caring about) the details.

This results in misinformation, mistrust, forced apologies, and broken relationships. This results in further division and “they said” and “at least we’re not like them.”

A Major Result – Fake Faith

And what does this lead to?

This same attitude of simple expediency affects our understanding of the Bible and God.

Fake faith sneaks in. We all “know” what we believe, because we have seen the memes and Facebook posts of credible people. We have read the popular books and watched the latest faith-based films.

Now, we believe in the god created by society instead of as revealed in the Bible, and we believe things that feel good and “feel right” instead of what is right and good.

Now we have people who believe they are Christians because of A, B, and C, who can not give “a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), other than to say “Because it has worked for me.” And it is okay to believe there are other ways to eternal life, if it even exists.

If Jesus truly is “the way, the truth, and the life” and “no one comes to the Father except” by Him (John 14:6), then the worst fake news out there is spread by christians who are not sure what they believe, but “know it is true.”

Therefore, we must pray for God’s truth to be revealed in and through us. Instead, may we “have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths” (1 Timothy 4:7), and read God’s Word for ourselves and with sound doctrine and with others of faith that we “may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).


You Don’t Want God Laughing At You

“I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh” – Proverbs 1:26

This morning I was reading through chapter one and got all the way to verse 26. I may go back and look at some other verses later, but this one really stood out to me today.

Can you imagine God laughing at somebody in trouble? Actually, I can imagine someone saying, “That’s not a very Christian thing to do!”  (FYI, that’s a typical “gotcha” zinger atheists – both real and pretend –  love to throw at believers)

But what we see in this verse is exactly that – God laughs at people in trouble.

However, it’s not just any people; it’s those who follow after other gods when He doesn’t seem to meet their needs. Consider what God told the children of Isreal in Gilead:

Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. – Judges 10:14

While the above passage doesn’t mention God laughing, it does show Him essentially saying, “Hey, I told you so! Now, go on with your bad self and see if your little “g’s” are all you thought they were.”

But the Lord does laugh at those who want to “break the bands” of objective truth and live their own lives without Him…

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision (mock, deride, ridicule).” – Psalm 2:4

It’s worth thinking about. God wouldn’t offer a way of deliverance if He didn’t love and care for us. But when we brush off his help like dandruff off our shoulder (I’m bald, so I don’t have that problem), don’t you think it breaks His heart?

That’s why, I believe, you see so many people crying out to God for deliverance, yet get no response. What’s it gonna take to convince us those other gods are the real failures? How many more times will I hear someone say, “I don’t believe in God anymore…I prayed to Him when I really needed Him, but nothing happened”?

I just shake my head.

That’s what God does: He shakes his head, put’s his hand on his forehead, and says, ‘Oh Myself.'”

Yeah, I know, it’s not funny. But sometimes you’ve just got to laugh at the insanity of it all.

God does.


Here’s a New Thought

On the 1st day of April 2012, a new blog was born. Now, exactly six years later, ProverbialThought.com is being reborn…re-envisioned…rebooted…reinforced.

Welcome to Proverbial Thought (& More)!

More Contributors

Over the years we’ve had contributors come and go. Therefore, as we do a reboot, a new generation of authors will be joining our ranks, offering new and fresh perspectives. As a matter of fact, we are looking forward to having a few more ladies join our ranks this time around.

Just be aware, it will probably take a little time for everyone to get on board…some have yet to be asked.

A More Flexible Format

The last time we went through Proverbs we had a specific format. Every day we looked at a new proverb, one at a time in consecutive order, until we eventually commented on every proverb from chapter 1 to 31.

The last time around our contributors pre-selected what verses we would cover, put our names to them, then submitted a post in the proper order and (usually) at the appropriate time.

This time is going to be different.

This time we are going to cover a chapter a week. This time there will be no schedule. This time there will be no preselection of verses. This time we are going to be sharing our thoughts only on the verses that stand out, the ones God selects for us. If two people happen to pick the same proverb/verse, that’s OK – none of us will have the same perspective.

We haven’t worked out all the details at this point, but we hope to at least have a post a day from somebody, even if it’s only me (Anthony).

More Thoughts

All of our previous “proverbial thoughts” had a goal of around 500 words, give or take. Each post was to be like a mini-commentary with personal observation and application. The idea was to explain the proverb then give examples from our personal experiences how the wisdom of each proverb played out.

This time around we are simply going to share what the Holy Spirit is showing us, whether it be about ourselves, each other, our communities, or life in general.

And then we will ask for your thoughts.

More Than Practical

The book of Proverbs is a book of practical wisdom, but it’s more than that; it’s inspired Scripture. In 1 Corinthians 1:24 we read that Jesus Christ is “the wisdom of God.” In Luke 24 we read where Jesus expounded the Scripture, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets,” and explained to the disciples how He was the subject of it all.

In Proverbs, Jesus is Wisdom personified.

As we start afresh in our relationship with Proverbs, it is our prayer that this blog will do more than offer practical advice for life. This time around we hope you get to know the Author of Life and the Wisdom that makes life worth living.


And speaking of living, happy Resurrection Day! He is RISEN!


Starting Again All Over Again

Hey guys (and girls)!

It was on April 1st, 2012, that the first installment of Proverbial Thought was posted. Over 700 posts later, with only a few verses missed, those of us who contributed to this project shared our thoughts about 99.9% of all the proverbs in the book of Proverbs.

The total word count was over 350,000!

Needless to say, that was a lot of thinking, and it’s all still here, available to anyone who wants to read it.

But April 1st (Easter) is just around the corner, and now the time is here to decide what to do with this blog.

Do I just repost (for a 3rd time) the posts that have already been written? Or, do we do something different?

Here are some options being considered…

  • Start all over from scratch
    • If this option is chosen, we’ll need to recruit some new talent
  • Repost everything in order as it was originally done, but just update what’s needed as it comes along.
  • Do a hybrid version…repost the original stuff, but allow for new content to be submitted when available.
  • Should tabs be created (Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc.) to give easy access to past posts?
  • Do a new project through a different book (i.e., Chris Jordan suggested doing something similar with the book of James).
    • If this option is chosen, should we start a new blog altogether or keep this one?

I would love YOUR thoughts! Please leave a comment telling me what you think.