Proverbs 19 – August 19

CC Image courtesy of Martin LaBar on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Martin LaBar on Flickr.

Proverbs 19
Author: Bob Bailey

So much advice and it seems so random. Well, at least to the modern reader. We know that there are major themes and connections once we begin to read larger sections of Proverbs and take into account ancient cultural context. So, how do we maneuver through this list of seemingly unconnected bits of advice? It is easy to identify the positive and negative attributes and characteristics presented. No one questions that we don’t aspire to be so lazy that we can’t even feed ourselves (vs. 24), or that being a liar is a bad thing. What is at the root of what the writer is trying to say? Does he really want me to work on these individual traits? The answer may be planted a little deeper.

One can work on these characteristics individually, like being slow to anger, or being more generous, but if we miss the reason in vs. 3 that “when a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord,” we also miss that recurring theme in vs. 23: “The fear of the Lord leads to life and whoever has it rests satisfied”.

How many people work on thorn bushes expecting apples? How many people seek fulfillment and find folly because they have the wrong roots in their hearts.  Starting with the right roots (the fear of the Lord) helps us grow in the direction of good branches and eventually the fruit of integrity, good sense, understanding and overlooking the offense of others. When we see questionable fruit in ourselves or others, maybe we should look at our roots.

Proverbs 19 – July 19

0719 - WalkingProverbs 19
Author: Rob Anderson

Do you remember that time he wronged you? What about the time she did not show the proper respect? Or the time someone slighted a friend, although he was not really a close friend, just close enough that you have a hard time looking her in the eye these many years later for what she did?

Of course you do. Well, at least you remember someone else doing something like that. We would never hold a grudge or refuse to forgive someone! Who do you think we are, the Hatfield’s or McCoy’s?

If you were to ask me for one piece of advice that would help make the world a better place, I think I would have to say: “Don’t get so worked up over things that really and truly don’t matter. Let it go.” But it is much easier said than done, isn’t it. We remember wrongs and quietly hold them hostage in the back of our minds, bringing them out when they suit our needs as ammunition to wound others.

The writer of Proverbs reminds us “it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (19.11).

So here is a question. That person against whom you have held a grudge and refused to let off easily for what he or she has done. What would happen if you simply walked away and forgot the event every happened. That’s right, just walked away. Would your life suffer for it? Hers?

Let’s try it. I’m walking now. Walking away from the hate and hurt and toward the person who wronged me, because the relationship is more valuable than the ongoing separation.

How about you? Where are you walking?

Proverbs 19 – June 19

CC Image courtesy of Kamyar Adl on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Kamyar Adl on Flickr.

Proverbs 19
Author: Luke Anderson

Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19.27, NIV)

If you are ever in our house and listening to our conversations, you will often hear the question: “Why?”

If something doesn’t go our way, our response becomes “Why this?” or “Why that?” I’m sure my parents get tired of hearing this. My sister and I both ask this question and some times the response from my father is “Because I said so”.

We want to think this is a sarcastic or rude response but in reality, this is the honest answer to our complaining. We often leave it at that. But sometimes we push our luck and say: “So? It doesn’t matter. What do you know, anyway?”

My father’s classic response is “When you have lived as many years as I have, let’s talk.” This aggravates us and you can probably see why, but when you think about it, he is so right. He is the smarter one and we are really not thinking when we say these things.

We know the Bible talks a lot about honoring your parents. However, when you are a teenager, you don’t always want to honor your parents. I think all parents that have had teenagers will agree, too often we want our way and to do our stuff.

Truthfully, we are selfish. We want what makes us happy and to do what feels good to us. We think our parents don’t know anything even though they have been around a lot longer and seen way more things then us. They don’t know how the world is now and are behind the times. But this is not true at all! We look at this proverb and discover that once we stop listening, we have moved away from knowledge. We are, as the Proverbs often says, the foolish ones.

This hurts me to say, but sometimes the “oldies” are right. [Tweet This]

Listen to their instruction.