Proverbs 13 – August 13

CC Image courtesy of FreddieBrown on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of FreddieBrown on Flickr.

Proverbs 13
Author: Gary Evans

After college graduation, our daughter Rebecca spent over a year with a mission team in Uganda, Africa. Within a short time of her return to the U.S., she observed sadly one day that our lives here are so full of “clutter” and lived at such a hectic pace. She stated, “No wonder we cannot be still and know God—-we cannot even be still.”

Among other gems, the blessing of discipline is found throughout this chapter—whether it be the tongue, our lives, or our money.

Verse 3 admonishes this way: “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Though in a later chapter (17:28), I smile when I read, “Even a fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent.” I believe discipline begins with our tongue. If our words are reckless, bitter, and cutting (always looking for an opportunity to put someone down thinking it lifts us up), there is no way Jesus can live in our hearts. Remember, what comes from our mouths originates in the heart/mind.

For some of us just being still with a spirit of quietness (and being silent), is a challenge (I know); and we must draw on the power of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Spend one day a month, then two, then one per week, then daily meditating on words from a Psalm or Proverb or Jesus in quietness and solitude. If you will do this consistently (begin with only 5 minutes), you will find that other areas of your life begin to refocus and become more disciplined and your days more fulfilling.

May God bless you as you allow Him to calm your spirit and fill your life with more discipline, purpose, and hope.

Proverbs 13 – June 13

CC Image courtesy of MattLake on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of MattLake on Flickr.

Proverbs 13
Author: Keino McWhinney

We are thirteen chapters into the reading of Proverbs and at this point it’s a challenge to not get lost in the seemingly endless flow of parallel sentences, the use of imagery, and the many instances of compare and contrast. The opening three verses of Proverbs 13 are a good example of the brisk pace of the book:

A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (Proverbs 13:1-3 ESV)

Feeling overwhelmed with all this “wisdom” it’s easy to give a cursory glance and make a general mental summary of the text to be filed away for the “future.” Often times the difficulty rests with our failure to read the text slowly. We must read slowly in an attempt to gain the right insight and to consider the questions raised by the text. Will the father’s instruction be regarded? Will I guard my lips in order to preserve life? Do I hate what is false? What is the proper time and context in which to apply these truths?

With slow reading and deep reflection we are more likely to find clarity in the words of Proverbs. For example, in the many parallels presented it is apparent that the wise and fool are allotted similar opportunities in life. The allotment itself is neutral but the classification as wise or foolish is dictated by the choices made and the resulting consequences. I pray that we might read slowly and choose wisely our path in life.