Category Archives: Proverbs

My wife and I have problems

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”  Proverbs 31:28.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Proverbs 30-31, Psalm 33, and Ephesians 1.

Married couples without problems?  Be real!

If you don’t have any problems, then you probably don’t live close to your partner for extended periods of time.

It is a natural thing to have disagreements.  What also must become “natural” is understanding why they happen.

In today’s verse, you realize that the family described has children who are well trained.  They know what their mother does for them and they appreciate it.

Where would a child acquire such an attitude?  In a family where the husband sets a Godly tone.

The child has heard his father praise the child’s mother.  The child is alerted to the good things the mother does and knows the proper responses to give.

My wife needs to know that I appreciate her.  Someone who is heavily appreciated can weather criticism because they have a backlog of examples proving that the critic loves them.

In my household, I’m too quick to criticize and too slow to praise.  Hence the occurrence of disagreements.

I should know better but often do not.

“Lord, forgive me for my regrettable words to those in my midst.  I love them, yet often my words betray that sentiment.  Prick my conscience so that I get this right.  I love You, Father.  I love my wife.”

When I praise my wife I benefit her and my children.

 

 

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No one listens to me!

“One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.”  Proverbs 22:11.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 22-24, and Romans 14.

What I say is the overflow of my heart.  If my heart is pure then good things will flow from me.

My speech must be gracious.  The synonym I’ll go with is “tactful.”  That means “timing” to me.  There is a time and place for things to be said.  The ideal would be the right words at the right time.

If my heart is filled with God and my verbal timing is right, others will be drawn to converse with me.

I am learning so many things as I read Scripture.  I find that the most obvious (Why didn’t I figure that out?) things have escaped me.  In this verse, I learn that I am the one who affects how a conversation goes.  There’s no reason to badly react to a disinterested listener. The responsibility for a Godly conversation is on me.  It is all yet another reason for attaching myself to God at the get-go of each day and not letting go thereafter.

There also is the piece in this about doing something to get something.  I should not imagine myself as Godly and therefore assume that I will be showered with listeners.  If I am Godly, my verbal content and timing will carry the day.  What happens to me in that mode is in God’s Hands whether the reaction to my words is good or bad.

“Lord, You are great and I am often a fool.  My words betray me.  They reveal the shallowness of my relationship to You.  Even when I am close to You my words are often untimely.  O Lord, I need Your help.  Take every aspect of my life over.  None works right without You.  I love You, Father.”

I must be filled with God and Godly-appropriate in my conversations.

 

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I can’t stop talking

“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.”  Proverbs 17:27.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 16-18, and Romans 12.

Do you have to have the last word, first word, and most of the words in between?

Some of us are like that.  We are so smart and so sure of ourselves that we just have to share and share.

Today’s verse would suggest a different approach for the well-informed: restraint.

Our words betray us on many levels.  They certainly reveal what our hearts are like.

Another issue with “over” talking is that people get tired of listening.  They tune out.

If I have something Godly to say, I need to present it with Godly timeliness.  God prepares my words.  God prepares my listeners.

So many words come at us via the media.  I have a mute button and I use it plenty.  I cannot listen to commercials.

I want to nourish others with my words.  I want my words to be gifts that listeners are happy to receive.  Only by walking close to God can I make sure that this happens.

“Lord, may the words of my mouth be pleasing to You.  Prick my conscience when I am abusing listeners.  I love You, Father.”

What does our talking sound like to others?

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Why is there so much fighting?

“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”  Proverbs 13:10.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 13-15, and Romans 11.

Why do I have trouble?  Because of I full of myself.

I want my way and you’re in my way.  We argue and don’t get along as we should.

My life must be filled with the Holy Spirit.  There must be no room available within me for me to be governing.

Alas, there often are areas that I try to run.  The areas I run are the ones where conflict is found.

Will I listen to others?  If I respect them, I will.  The ones who know me best have insights into what I should and should not be doing because of their years with me.  But do I want their counsel?  Do I want to change course?  Sometimes, but not always.

If I want to be wise, I will take advice from others.

The Bible is filled with advice.  In Proverbs, you get advice as well as insights into the consequences of not following the advice.

I often know exactly what God wants from me and I’m ready to do it.  However, when new assignments come along that I haven’t planned for, then there is a good chance that I will revert to my selfishness.

This is a constant thread in this blog: My life must be ENTIRELY surrendered to God.  Anything less leads to selfishness.

“Lord, I love You.  Forgive me for missing out on what You have for me to do because of my selfishness.  I want to please You.  I surrender (again) myself to You.  Take me over.  Direct my path.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

If I am filled with self, it is very difficult to get along with folks.

 

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No one listens to me!

“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.”  Proverbs 10:21.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 10-12, and Romans 10.

My words are supposed to be nourishing.

How can my words be nourishing?  The synonym I liked best for nourishing is “beneficial.”

If someone is having a problem and I pile on verbally, I’m not benefiting the hearer in the least.

“You should have known better,” is a killer starter!

I know plenty of words.  Shouldn’t I be able, as a professed Godly person, to find some words that will benefit listeners?  I would say “Yes” to that question.

A “fool,” according to today’s verse, will offer words that are not beneficial.

I have been studying the book of James in church in recent weeks.  Plenty of talk about words.  At one point the minister told me that words are a gift to others.

I want my words to be received gladly.  The listener will do that if they already know that I love them and will offer them loving words.

Sometimes the best thing for me to say is nothing!  That’s hard if I assume that I have the answer needed for everything.

If I know that a person loves me then I will not hesitate to seek responses from them.  I’ll share my issues and respect what they tell me.

My words must be God’s Words.  If my words are my words only, I will mess things up.

“Lord, I want my words to be gifts.  I want them to be the right “gift” for each person I converse with.  I must have You in charge of me to have the right words for each person.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

My words must benefit others.

 

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My words reveal the quality of my heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” Proverbs 4:23-24.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 4-6, and Romans 8.

The condition of my heart is revealed in what I say.

This is a cold, hard fact.

I can pretend otherwise.  I can rationalize ‘til the cows come home.  None of this veers from the truth that my words tell the story of what I’m really like.

I get into trouble with words far too frequently.  I say things I regret and regularly must backtrack from them.  That’s bad enough but the reality is deeper: My heart is NOT right with God.  If it was, the unkind words would stop flowing.

For me the heart-revealing words often flow during reactions.  Given time to plan words, I have fewer issues.  When someone confronts me or things don’t go my way, then the gloves come off…………and they shouldn’t.

I know that this behavior is wrong.  My only consolation is that it gets me up-to-date on the condition of my heart.

The bottom line is that what comes out of my mouth reveals the condition of my heart.  I wish that the condition of my heart was better!

“Lord, forgive me for betraying our relationship with unkind words.  I do what I don’t want to do.  Help me, Lord.  I surrender to You full-time.  I love You, Lord.”

Sadly, my words often reveal an unclean heart.

 

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Come clean!

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible study: Proverbs 28-29, and Romans 16.

The Good News is that Jesus took care of ALL my sins when He died for them on Calvary.

Because my sins are gone I have a new life without them.  I don’t have to sin and I don’t have to carry sin around.

So when I know that I have sinned, I have several options: (1) I can admit it and seek to clean up the mess, or (2) I can carry the sin with me in one form or another.

How often do we haul sin around?  And we shouldn’t.

First of all, sin has lost its power over us.  Second, we are told that sin is not part of the new life we have in Him.

We must strive to have a “clean heart” before God.  We cannot haul sin around.

Sometimes in a relationship there is a problem.  It must not be allowed to fester.  We know when things are amiss.  We feel it.  The fire for the Godly is cooled down.  We feel loose from God.  And we can’t let it last.

That makes this a good verse.  If I carry sin I am making a mistake.  Plain and simple.  I have no cause to carry sin.  It’s been taken care of.  It CANNOT be part of a new life in God.  Get rid of it!

“Lord, thank You for the brilliant words of Solomon that You gave him.  Forgive me for carrying sin.  Enable me to come quickly to grips with sin so that it doesn’t take an undeserved hold in my life.  I want to be clean in Your sight.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Your sins are gone.  You’ve been set free.  Live like it!

+10 bad eating habits

hw-june-4

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Beware of autobiographies!

“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.”  Proverbs 27:2.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 25-27, and Romans 15.

I will admit right off the top that I swiped that title from a line in a commentary on this verse.

I was complemented twice very recently for some work I had done in our front yard.  I was caught off guard by it.  Why?  I wasn’t looking for it or expecting it.

There is a ungodly tension in our existence when we seek the praise of others.

We live in a society where in schools plenty of “cheap” praise is handed out.  Many add to the collection of “Good job’s” at home.  Sometimes the praises are warranted but otherwise are we simply trying to falsely elevate their self-esteem?

There is Scripture that gets after us for being motivated by the praise and recognition of others.  God does not bless that arrangement.

We should work as if God is watching….because He is.  God’s “Well done’s” are what we are working for.

Another point from this verse is that we should not hesitate to hand out deserved praise.  I’m not talking “cheap” praise.  During each day there usually are folks who do stuff well for us.  Do we recognize it?  Would our spouses keel over if we gave them a verbal pat on the back?  Try it and see what happens!

“Lord, You are worthy of non-stop praise from me.  Forgive me for being lax on the “Thank You’s.”  Forgive me for not seeing the good things others do for me and for forgetting to be thankful to them.  I have so much to learn.  Guide me.  Teach me.  I love You, Father.”

A primary concern is to earn God’s praise.

+9 yard work helped

hw-june-3

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Got plans?

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Proverbs 19:21.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 19-21, and Romans 13.

How slow are we at figuring this one out!

Go back to when you were a kid; every now and then you would decide that the next day you were going to do a certain activity.  Were you always able to do it?  Didn’t think so.  Why were you unable to do the activity?  A higher power (your parents?) had another plan for your tomorrow.

God knows ultimately what will happen in my next second, never mind tomorrow.  How should that make a difference in the way I live?

If God has the ultimate say in everything, I want to be tightly tuned into Him.  How foolish it is for me to make plans and then run them by Him!

A better approach would be to let God know up front that I want to do whatever He wants me doing.  My plans, apart from Him, are quicksand at best.

I look at the path of my past and realize that much time has been wasted going my own way.  Why did I ever think that I actually controlled my future?  It will be God’s Way whether I’m on board or not!

It is ingrained in our culture that “we should be all that we can be.”  But the thinking is minus God.  What misguided guidance!

“Lord, take over the direction of my life.  Forgive me for planning apart from You.  Forgive me for wondering why my ways lead to so many negative things.  I need You every second.  Take me over.  I love Your leadership.  I want it full-time in my life.  Glory to You, Lord.”

Things are going to God’s way whether we plan it or not.  Why plan without Him?

+9 steady high

hw-june-1

 

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Are you the smartest person in every room?

“Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”  Proverbs 18:2.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 16-18, and Romans 12.

Do you come across as an “expert” on just about everything?

Have you stopped listening to learn?

I sense that with myself as I get older.  I assume that age has blessed me with wisdom.  I’ve been around longer so therefore I know more.

There’s Solomon, in today’s verse giving me a title: “Fool.”

A fool will not listen to the advice of others.  A fool gets especially riled up when someone finds fault with what they’ve done or will be doing.

What would a Godly person do in those circumstances?  I believe that a Godly person starts out remembering that God is in every room they’re in.  If God is in every room with me, what would He want me doing?  I MUST start by recognizing His presence BEFORE I even get into the room.  I MUST also declare that I want to use His Words in any conversation I’m in.  In other words, I want to rightly represent Him in that room.  There is no opening for my becoming a fool in that arrangement, is there?

“Lord, I want Your Words to be my words wherever I am.  I want Your discernment as the opportunities to choose between listening and speaking arise.  May I rightly represent You wherever I am.  Help me, I beg!”

Rightly represent God in every room you’re in…………or be the fool Solomon is talking about.

+9 Way too much

hwfm-July-31

 

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