An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Occupy the Gates

(Proverbs 31:23 KJV)  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

This is a verse I like.  While the wife is building the family wealth, the husband gets to sit in a place of honor and look wise.  I am pretty good at both of those.  The word that we miss is the “when.”

There are certain assumptions here.  You don’t sit in the gates all the time.  That is reserved for the times of judgement or meeting.  When you go to the meeting you take a reputation with you.  When you get there you are already “known” (3045) [yada]. 

This knowing is a strong word.  It means that you have already been involved in the community to the point where people know your character and value.  This is not the respect of office.  It is not because you are a man or husband.  You are looked up to because you have lived in such a way that people know your value.

This does not happen in a day.

So?  What are you waiting for?  Get to living a life of integrity, honor and righteousness.  There is not time to start like today.  Tomorrow will be too late. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Getting Antsy

(Proverbs 30:25 KJV)  The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

As I write, we are coming to the end of a year.  Solomon seems to be telling us to look to creation for ideas in how we can make next year better.

Most of us do not look favorably on ants.  They invade our kitchens.  They mess up our picnics.  We think of food scraps and disease.  But there is another side that is referred to here and in the fable of the grasshopper and the ant.  Ants remind us to “prepare” (3559).

Preparation has many facets.  Planning is one.  Gathering is another.  Delayed gratification is often overlooked.  As believers we should also be setting aside time to prepare our hearts and souls for a year of service.

So?  Find time to prepare.  A list of resolutions probably won’t do much for you, but some serious prayer and scheduling might make the year more rewarding for you and for the plans God has for you. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Keep the Focus

(Proverbs 29:26 KJV)  Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.

Two months ago I responded to this by suggesting we get involved and not forget our priorities.  The election is over at this point.  The priority stays the same.

We have a real problem in listening to the “company line” and accepting it as having some value.  The warning for us here is that our marching orders as followers of Jesus do not come from the government or the celebrities but from God Himself.  If there is a common message then it is a rare coincidence and probably a mistake on the part of our popular gurus. 

Too often we take concepts like “judgement” (justice NASB) (4941) and accept the popular definition.  We don’t honestly seek out what God is saying and apply it as truth.  We take the easy way out.  We conform.  Life will never be that easy.  Truth will never be popular.  Sin rules in the hearts of most people and most organizations.  Accept it.  Deal with it.

So?  Focus on the right and truth.  Don’t fall for the company line, right or left.  We are still expected to be salt and light.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Heart Problems?

(Proverbs 28:26 KJV)  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

How is your “heart” (3820) today?  How are your inner convictions?  How are your priorities?  God knows and is keenly aware.  How about you?

I see people everywhere that are obviously ignoring the condition of their physical heart.  We joke about the double bacon cheese burger with heavy mayo and a jumbo side of fries.  We still order it.  We breathe heavy going up a few stairs and have another donut.  In our heart we know about our heart.

I see people everywhere that are obviously ignoring the condition of their spiritual heart.  We gripe about the materialism of Christmas and go shopping.  We complain about the loud music at church and don’t sing the “good” songs when  they are presented.  We complain about the condition of our society and don’t read the Instruction Manual that God has given us.

So?  How is your heart today?  God knows.  You know.  Think about it. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Ugly Head

(Proverbs 27:4 KJV)  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

What is the problem with “envy” (jealousy NASB) (7068)?  This is a frequent concern in the Bible.  The two most frequent translations in both the KJV and NASB are “jealousy” and “zeal.”  The word carries the idea of extreme enthusiasm that goes beyond the bounds of reason and rationality.  When it is used of the things of God, it is a good trait.  In most other uses it is a sin.

I think it is worse because envy can take time to plan.  It may start off spontaneously, but it tends to fester.  Slights become magnified.  Wrongs are amplified.  This is another example of why it is so important for us to turn the other cheek and forgive.

So?  Don’t let self-passion get a hold on you today.  Someone will cross you.  You may be right.  They may be wrong.  Don’t allow emotional response to take you from being right to being in sin. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Deceptive Advertizing

(Proverbs 26:18 KJV)  As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

This verse is a preparation for the next verse which talks about deceivers.  This verse is stressing the destructive quality of deception.  The ultimate danger is “death” (4194).

The picture I see is a one man army laying siege to a metaphorical castle.  “Firebrands” (2131) burn the structures and possessions.  “Arrows” (2671) attack the body.  It is not a pretty picture.

We are surrounded by deception.  Think of the political promises that have been made.  Think of the advertisements you are subject to that encourage you to buy things you don’t need and can’t afford or borrow money you don’t need. 

So?  We don’t need to be a part of the problem.  We can be a part of the solution by being examples of honesty and integrity.  Be one who brings life, not death. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Gift of Worship

PRO 25:14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

If you are part of the church that traces its roots through Rome or the Protestant Reformation I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.  If you are part of the Orthodox world, just bear with us people who have it wrong.

We are not celebrating a “false” (8267) “gift” (4991), or, as the NASB puts it “gifts falsely.”  The key to Advent, Christmas and Epiphany is not in the date or rituals built around them.  The key is in the truth. 

That is why for believers the materialism and party atmosphere should not distract us from being reminded that this date has been set to remember that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  (John 1:14)

So?  Gather.  Fellowship.  Give and receive.  But don’t forget to worship.

Merry Christmas. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Survivalist Advice in Proverbs

PRO 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

Here we have some advice for survivalists and The End of the World As We Know It.  We have a priority for rebuilding civilization after all the imagined disasters bring it down.  First, “prepare” (3559) the “field” (7704).  Make provision for producing food.  Then “build” (1129) your “house” (1004).  I don’t know much about farming but I would assume this advice is not given in the middle of a winter blizzard.

What about the rest of us, those who don’t expect a zombie attack or a second Civil War?  I think this is even more appropriate.  We need to be concerned with the world we live in.  We cannot just focus on what happens inside the walls of our home.  We cannot develop a bunker attitude, hunker down, pull the spiritual blankets over our head and let the world go to Hell.  We must get ready for the “work” (4399) God has for us.

So?  Be salt.  Carry the light.  We are in a world that needs both desperately and God wants us to be His ambassadors. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


(Proverbs 23:31 KJV) Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

I am not a drinker.  I have told you that before.  But I am just as susceptible to the romantic picture that is veneered over alcohol as anyone else is.  That is why advertizing works.  That is why packaging gets so much attention.

As a kid I can remember role-playing being a cowboy and walking into the bar, putting my foot on the rail and saying in my rough, manly voice, “Rye.”  I had no idea what rye was but if it was good enough for John Wayne, it was good enough for me.

We are surrounded by glamor and facade.  Make-up artists and tailored clothes can make almost anyone attractive.  What you see is often not what you get.

So?  Beware.  Learn to look beyond the surface.  Listen to you senses and the for the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Listen to people you trust.  It will make a difference in how tomorrow dawns. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Generic Parenting

(Proverbs 22:6 KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Have we done a good job raising our children?  Have we walked the walk and been living examples?  It is a question that must wait for an answer.  We must wait to see if they follow Jesus or “depart” (5493) from the way. 

One crucial testing point is the day they leave home.  They may go off to college to live in a dorm, join the military, move away for a job.  That is the time to hold your breath and pray harder than ever.  That is the day they begin making decisions without you looking over their shoulder. 

It doesn’t end their.  Mine are around 30 years old and it looks good, but I am not resting on my laurels.

So?  Do your best, but make sure it really is your best.  Too often we try to get by with a generic when the name brand is really available.  Don’t skimp on the next generation. 

Friday, December 21, 2012


(Proverbs 21:25 KJV) The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.

It is a tragedy when people “refuse” (3985) to “labour” (work NASB) (6213a).  There are consequences.

I see the foundation for this way of life being laid daily in our public schools.  The system is more concerned about self esteem than achievement, feelings rather than knowledge.  I see kids being taught that no matter what they do they will go on to the next grade.

I see a continuation of it in our welfare culture. 

This is deadly.  It dulls the mind.  It teaches sloth.  It creates false expectations.  It generates jealousy and envy.

So?  We willing to work.  Expect to work.  Even more, work.  Grace makes it possible.  Grace expects it.  Grace demands it. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Box, Out Box

(Proverbs 20:28 KJV) Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

In this verse the KJV is much more accurate than the NASB.  “Mercy” (loyalty, righteousness NASB) (2617a) is used twice in the KJV.  This is because it is the same word in Hebrew.  For some stylistic reason the NASB uses two different words.

This word in Hebrew is chesed.  To me it is the OT equivalent of the Greek agape.  I think the best translation is “lovingkindness.”  It is at the heart of how God deals with us but notice that it is not clear who is extending this quality.  Is this a case of God extending mercy to preserve or the king being preserved because he is merciful?

I think this is another case of both/and not either/or.  It starts with God.  He is the source.  He is the example.  He is the demander. 
(1 John 4:19 KJV)  We love him, because he first loved us.
He supplies, we apply.  He gives, we pass on.

So?  Be a channel that God can use.  Pass it on. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sparkling Lips

(Proverbs 19:1 KJV) Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

Language says something about our spiritual condition.  I don’t mean Spanish vs English.  I am talking about the way in which we adopt the vocabulary of the culture around us.  We speak with “perverse” (6141) “lips” (speech NASB) (8193).

This is a concept that is more complex than just telling lies.  It means crooked, and you will find the word “perverted” in the ways it is translated.  Out speech should be above reproach.  Think about the words that we use and don’t think about.  A common word being used today is “pimp.”  It means many things to many people.  In our post modern culture it means whatever the speaker wants it to mean.  In reality is means someone who runs a string of prostitutes.

I could make a list but I don’t want to be perverse.

So?  Make your own list.  We should have sparkling lips and pristine vocabularies.  We have a long way to go.  Let’s get started, one word at a time. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Using Your Imagination

(Proverbs 18:11 KJV)  The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

In this verse the NASB translates a Hebrew word as “imagination” (4906).  Although that is a legitimate way to go, it misses the nuances of the word.  The KJV uses “conceit.”  That also misses the mark.  The word is used in regard to carving idols.  It means to take human creativity and try to make a divine image.  It is part of idolatry.

The point here is that our “imagination” can work against the values of God.  It can become conceit.

We rely on our imagination a lot.  That can have it’s good side and it’s bad side.  We can use imagination to fill in the gaps, to try to understand the agony of Christ during the passion, to strive to know what it is to love.  We can use it to create new ways to help those who are stubborn.  We can use it to find new ways to write blog posts.

We can also use it to shield us from the clear teaching of God.  That is the warning here.  We are adroit at slipping in our conceits for the commandments. 

So?  Channel your creativity.  Start with the clear truth and find ways to apply it.  Don’t start with a lie and try to spread it over the truth.  Focus. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Active or Passive

(Proverbs 17:4 KJV)  A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

The average person “giveth heed” (listens NASB) (7181) to what they want and hears what he expects.  Most of us would accept that we are in the high part of the bell curve, we are not the best or the worst, but somewhere in between.  So I guess that truth applies to us.

How much more is it true of the “wicked doer” (evildoer NASB) (7489a) and the “liar” (8267)?  You can probably multiply the effect.  They are active in seeking falsehood.  We are passive.  Too often the results end up the same.

So?  Just as some are active in pursuing evil, we need to be consciously following the paths of righteousness.  There are many more moral choices to be made than we want to pay attention to.  Wake up and smell the aroma of holiness.  Be part of that perfume. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How About a Temperance Tantrum

(Proverbs 16:32 KJV)  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Just like you, I was standing in a check out line and my eyes strayed to the covers of all the popular gossip rags that fill the racks.  It almost seems like a pop-star changing his brand of toothpaste would call for a special edition.  We seem to worship people who act childish and immature.  Maybe it is a desire within us to be totally selfish and not feel guilty.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the standards of God are different than the standards of our culture.  Take it another step.  The standards of God are different than any culture.  Here is another example.  Proverbs takes a character trait that is the opposite of our idols and tells us, “Be this way.”

A believer “rules” (4910) his “spirit” (7307).  We are not to be “free spirits.”  We are not to be “spirited.”  We are to be controlled.  God gives us that ability by the work of the Holy Spirit. 
(Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)  But the fruit of the pSirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The “temperance” of the KJV is “self control” in the more modern translations.

So?  Self control is available.  Plug it in.  Turn it on.  Walk in righteousness. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Muse. I Dare You

(Proverbs 15:28 KJV)  The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

Last month we looked at the first part of how we answer.  We speak from the heart.  Second, the “righteous” (6662) “studieth” (ponders NASB) (1897).  This is an interesting word that is defined, “to moan, utter, growl, utter, speak, muse.”  I think the last one is the application for today.  We run things repeatedly through our minds.  This would be a form of Christian meditation.  It is good to think things over instead of giving a quick answer.

I think this may be permission to talk to ourselves.  Maybe you never do this, but I often have conversations with myself about something on my mind.  If I listen to both sides of the discussion I benefit because I can hear my own mistakes and inconsistency. 

So?  Take your time before you take a stand or make a statement.  Study on it.  Muse on it.  Talk to yourself about it.  Then, and only then, speak boldly. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Quantity vs Quality

(Proverbs 14:28 KJV)  In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

What is the problem here?  Is this a praise of the mega-church in the next city?  Actually the problem is not in the “multitude” (7230) but in having a “want" (dearth NASB) (657).  It is a slightly different slant, but an important one.  Big can work but is not necessary.

A lot is not the same as enough.  One concept focuses on numbers, the other on need.  One is quantity; the other, quality. 

God does not play a numbers game.  Remember that Jesus warned us,
(Matthew 7:13-14 KJV)  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
So?  I don’t know about you but I want to get through that gate.  I won’t get there by following the crowd, looking for the biggest church or fitting in.  Follow Jesus, not fashion. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guilt vs Shame

(Proverbs 13:5 KJV)  A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

A liar acts “shamefully” (2659).  This could be a place to remind ourselves of the difference between guilt and shame.  This is exhibited in how people live their lives and how cultures set their expectations.

Guilt is an internal experience.  You feel guilty whether anyone else knows about it or not.  You know you are wrong.  This is often a very healthy thing, even if it gets bad press in our common culture.  It is how God brings us to repentance and change.

Shame is a response to an outward experience.  It only feels bad about getting caught.  It can be healthy but usually it is dominant in people who want to break all the rules and live below the radar. 

In the case of liars, their whole motif is to not get caught.  When they are caught their resolution is not to become honest but to become more careful.  This is not the way of the righteous.

So?  What is your motivation today as you live your life?  Are you concerned to sense the voice of the Holy Spirit giving you guidance and helping you grow or are you just worried about getting caught?  Keep in mind that God knows, even if the cop on the corner doesn’t.  Think about that next time you wonder if you will get away with something. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Be a Crown

(Proverbs 12:4 KJV)  A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

In Genesis the wife is created to be a helper, here she can be elevated to a “crown” (5850).  This is a good example of searching all of scripture before you make a theological point.  Helper and crown give two different pictures.  Neither one is complete.  Both are in the Word.

I have heard a lot of opinions in what it meant in Genesis to be a helper.  I have not studied it recently but I suspect that a lot of what you read in culturally conditioned and politically correct.  I have never heard it linked to this verse.  With this we begin to get a better balance.

The word for “crown” (5850) is also translated “wreath.”  I don’t know if the Roman and Greek concept was consistent with the Hebrew understanding but for a Roman the wreath was a simple arrangement of greenery that signified a tremendous honor.  It was only given to people who had demonstrated extreme excellence.

A godly wife is an award from God.  I think it is safe to say the same about a godly husband.

So?  If you are married be thankful for the gift God has given you.  Strive to live like you are a gift yourself.  If you are not married, don’t settle for second best.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deferred Gratification

(Proverbs 11:31 KJV)  Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

This is a bit confusing.  It sounds, at first, like sinners will receive a better reward than the “righteous” (6662).  I guess much depends on what we mean by “rewarded” (7999a) and when it is received.

I am thinking this is pointing out that the only good that the “wicked” (7563) can expect is in this life.  Jesus talks to this.
(Matthew 6:1-2 KJV)  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
We should always take the long range view, after all, we are in for eternity, right?  There are many short term fixes that work short term but destroy long term.  For instance you can tell a lie today that gets you out of a situation but you demonstrate a character that will come back to haunt you.

So?  Live today like it makes a difference tomorrow and beyond.  It does.  Eternity waits.

Monday, December 10, 2012

As with Gladness, Men of Old...

(Proverbs 10:28 KJV)  The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

What a great verse for the Advent season.  This is the time of year when “hope” (8431) and “gladness” (8057) should be percolating to the top of our demeanor.  It is time for us to turn from the successes and failures of a political season and look to the fulfillment of the promise that we are living out as we follow the One who came in the fullness of time.

This is a hope for believers, not the pagan world, although they have been piggy backing on it for a long time.  Notice that the promise is for the “righteous” (6662), not the “wicked” (7563).  If you follow down through the next few verses you see other words used to expand our understanding of who these people are.  You see them called “upright” and “just.” 

So?  Can you claim the promise of Advent?  Have you been touched by the incarnation?  Do you have reason to hope?  I do.  You can.  Why not enter the door marked “Hope” if you have not already done so.  Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Red Light Districts

(Proverbs 9:15 KJV)  To call passengers who go right on their ways:

In this verse it is the “foolish woman” of verse 13 who is doing the calling.  I don’t see any indication that this woman is familiar with those passing by.  In fact it almost seems that this is a common form of prostitution. 

When I visited Europe during my college years, one of the places that I visited was the red light district of Amsterdam.  Even then it seems prostitution was legal there.  Our small group of Christian college youth had never seen anything like this before.  Women standing in door ways and leaning out of display windows soliciting.  I don’t think any of us were even close to being tempted but it was an eye opener. 

We would have been better off not walking through but we saw the reality of our world first hand. 

So?  Keep your eyes open.  Be smarter than we were and avoid life’s red light districts.  They come in many shapes and sizes.  Some problems we don’t need. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In the Book, Not the Stars

(Proverbs 8:24 KJV)  When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

Who is the “I” of this verse?  You need to go back to verse 12 where it says, “I, wisdom.”  What follows is glorious, mysterious and confusing.  It seems to be talking about creation and seems to make wisdom part of the trinity.  Heavy stuff.

This verse looks back, and in looking back, helps us look forward.  God produced wisdom where there was no visible source, no “depths” (8415).  He can do the same for us.  We live in the assurance that our lives are part of His plan for eternity.  We make a difference.  We are placed where we are, not because of the tremendous skills we have but because of what can be “brought forth” (2342a) when the time is right.

So?  You will be challenged today.  You will face more than you are prepared to handle.  With God’s help you will rise to the occasion.  That sounds like a horoscope prediction.  No, it is a principle of walking in obedience.  It isn’t in the stars, it is in the Word. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Why Sisters

(Proverbs 7:4 KJV)  Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

In looking over how this was translated in the editions on my software I noticed that in almost all versions three words appear:  “wisdom” (2451), “sister” (269) and “understanding” (998).  That would be another reminder that all translators feel that wisdom and understanding go together.  And remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

People always ask “Why?”  I don’t mean just children trying to put off the day of reckoning, I mean people going through things that don’t seem to make sense.  I mean people struggling with the world around them, on the verge of surrender and defeat.  Too often they will never have an answer because they cannot understand without wisdom and they will have no wisdom without fear. 

So?  Do you understand?  Start with a healthy regard for the Lord your God.  If you start there, He can do something in your heart and mind. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Who Likes Humble Pie?

(Proverbs 6:3 KJV)  Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

It is always acceptable to “humble” (7511) ourselves.  How do we do that?  This is a pretty extreme word.  It means to stamp or tread on.  Humility is a part of the Christian character that has been rejected by our world.  Humility is for slaves and servants.  Humility is for the weak and helpless.  At least that is the mantra of the pagan and “Christian” world.

Maybe that is why humility is part of being a real follower of Jesus.  You see, being a slave of Christ and a bond-servant of God is part of the package.  We are called to obedience and servanthood.  Even if we are the boss we are not allowed to lord it over others.

So?  God pride?  Got ego?  We all do, but part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to renew us into what He wants us to be not to make us better pagans. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Listening When We Are Not Listening

(Proverbs 5:7 KJV)  Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

Notice how the admonitions here are active, not passive.  We are given direction.  We are to “hear” (listen NASB) (8085).  That is a positive action.  We are also not to “depart” (5493).  That is a negative action. 

We are given one thing to do and another not to do. 

As I was “reflecting” on what this verse said I realized that I had not been listening.  I thought it said not to depart from the path.  In reality it says not to depart from the “words” (561).  How easy it is to not listen even when we are listening.  How easy it is to not pay attention when the words are right in front of me. 

So?  Be alert.  Be aware of the ability we have to wander in our attention.  Be aware of how easy it is for us to assume we heard something when all we heard was what we wanted to hear.  God is still speaking.  Are we listening?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Check Your Grip

(Proverbs 4:6 KJV)  Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

Oh, how often we “forsake” (5800a) wisdom.  That is the “her” in this verse.  In looking at the definition of this word, one of the choices is “loose.”   That means to turn loose, to open your hand and let go of something that had been yours. 

Sometimes we let go because we are too weary to hang on.  That is what makes us fall asleep after a long day.  It is why we drop things when we are distracted.  I don’t think that is the issue here.

Sometimes we let go on purpose.  When our children reach a certain point we must give them freedom or they will never learn to fly.  When you are throwing a ball the key is to know the right moment to let go.  That could be the problem here.

I think here a more obvious reason for letting go, and the reason that “forsake” is a good translation, is that often we let go through carelessness.  We don’t pay attention.  We take things for granted.  We lose them. 

So?  Daily renewal is important.  That is why I think it is important to have a daily worship time, sometimes called “devotions,” so that we can daily focus on what God has to say for us.  It is a time to tighten our grip.  Grab hold for today, it is going to be a wild ride. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Don’t Look for Exceptions

(Proverbs 3:30 KJV)  Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

Sometimes when we are given directions in our behavior we see qualifiers.  That happens again here.  In fact, in this verse there are two.  Let’s consider the first. 

Our NT thinking tells us not to “strive” (contend NASB) (7378).  You are familiar with some of the difficult teaching of Jesus such as,
(Matthew 5:39 KJV)  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
But notice that here it is qualified by “without cause” (2600).  That seems to infer that there might be times when contention is proper.  Our problems as fallible humans is that we think that means "usually" instead of "in exceptional cases."

So?  Be a peacemaker.  Assume you don’t have cause.  That is the default.  The other cheek is waiting to be turned. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Witness of Ignorance

(Proverbs 2:3 KJV)  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

This is given as an if/then statement but I think it implies command.  We must “lift” (5414) our “voice” (6963) to receive the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that is later promised.  If we do not ask we will not receive the information we need.  I could assume that we are supposed to ask questions if we are going to grasp the deeper ideas of life.

But it goes further than that.  In looking at the definition of this word I could not immediately see how it was translated “lift.”  In looking at the different ways it is used I think of “post” or “erect” as in a sign.  When we lift our voice I think it could mean that we are making our views known.  I think that part of what is involved here is making our quest for wisdom, if not public, at least not private and secretive.  We should let the world around us know our attitude toward what is the wisdom of God and what is the foolishness of the world.

So?  Even in our questions we are to be witnesses.  Don’t be afraid to admit ignorance or growth in knowledge and understanding.  People know we don’t know.  Be open about your journey today. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How Much Would Could a Woodchuck Chuck?

(Proverbs 1:30 KJV)  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

Who are the “they” of this verse?  Obviously this verse cannot stand in isolation.  You must go back and begin in verse 22 to get the context.  God is addressing people who have repeatedly refused to listen to His counsel and have rejected the call of God.  This verse shows us an important part of God’s character. 

God is God.  He can compel.  In some cases He will.  But He prefers that we “would” (would accept NASB) (14) what He has to offer.  Here we have the gracious offer of God, not only of salvation, but of wisdom and understanding.  We are not capable of redeeming ourselves but we are capable of accepting or rejecting the love and grace of God.

So?  Make sure that you have not drifted into that majority who reject the counsel of God.  It is a daily process, not something that coincides with a date written in the cover of your Bible. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dynamite Packaging

(Proverbs 30:24 KJV)  There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

This seems like a silly observation but in terms of wisdom, size does not matter.  You can be “little” (small NASB) (6996a) and be “exceedingly” (2449) “wise” (2450).

It is no guarantee.  We have all heard of the Napoleon complex.  Children certainly do not qualify regardless of what your local school teacher says.  But being short or lacking in physical stature is no limitation to the containment of wisdom.

So?  Accept people as they are.  Look past the package and evaluate on the contents.  You have heard it a million ways.  Make that a million and one. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Abomination Next Door

(Proverbs 29:27 KJV)  An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

Whether you want to admit it or not, we are involved in a spiritual war.  We try to downplay it.  We don’t sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” any more.  We avoid thinking about the church militant, but like Neville Chamberlain ignoring the threat of Adolf Hitler, the treat is still there.  Here we have two human sides represented in the spiritual wars, the “unjust” (5766) and the “upright” (3477).

Both sides in the spiritual wars find the other an “abomination” (abominable NASB) (8441).  We are so much into being nice and tolerant that we reject this clearly taught truth.  Pagans are not just different, they are rejected by God.  This applies whether they are in the church or out of the church.

So?  That does not mean we abandon courtesy and kindness.  It simply means that we are aware of the reality of the divide.  We are at war.  The other side has shown up for battle and is working hard.  Be aware.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Planting the Seeds of Your Future

(Proverbs 28:26 KJV)  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Our popular culture “trusts” (982) in emotions more than reason.  We spend our energy on something we call “love” and how we feel in our “heart” (3820).  Note the contrast with the previous verse on where we place our trust.  There the confidence is in the Lord, here in our own emotions.  The results are dynamically opposed. 

Where are you going to plant the seeds of your future?  If you plant your hopes in sterile, impacted soil you will get stunted produce at best.  If you plant your priorities in fertile, well watered ground you will reap a bounty.

So?  Which will it be?  Whom will you trust?  You must put all your eggs in one basket.  I vote for the Lord.  Join me if you haven’t yet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Humble Listening

(Proverbs 27:2 KJV)  Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

I think there is a warning here for all of us.  Praise in public places is cheap and often dishonest.  When you hear a long glowing introduction you are best to ignore anything beyond simple facts such as where someone was born or where they went to school.  Judge the person on what they say and what you know they have done, not on someone’s glowing kissy-kissy fest.

You have all heard someone say, “This is a person who needs no introduction.”  Then they go on to introduce them.  Don’t fall into that trap as a speaker or as a listener.

So?  Simplicity and humility are key to being righteous.  We need to extend that to what we believe about others also.  Listen with wisdom. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Advent Solution

(Proverbs 26:23 KJV) Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Again we see a recurring theme in Proverbs, the “wicked” (7451a) “heart” (3820).  It always amazes me how people don’t want to acknowledge the sinful nature.  All Christians have original sin as part of their doctrine.  It may be defined slightly differently, be dealt with at different times and with varying success and effect your life by suggestion or dominance, but all admit that it is a problem.

But it is a problem with a solution.  That is also a theme of Proverbs.  It is possible to be a person who is not controlled by the wicked heart.  That is why we hear repeated reference to the righteous, the upright, the faithful. 

So?  Don’t be discouraged or live in Fantasyland.  The problem is real.  The solution is available.  Rejoice and be glad as we celebrate the Advent season, the coming of the solution.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tooting Your Own Horn

(Proverbs 25:7 KJV)  For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

Here is another source of a teaching of Jesus.  This one is expanded in Luke 14:8-11.  Jesus thought it was important enough to repeat.

The point here is Christian character, or, since this is the Old Testament, Godly character.  We are looking at one of the qualities of humility.  Paul also teaches this.
(Romans 12:3 KJV)  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
As a follower of Jesus you are expected to accept a lower station in life than you might think you deserve.  Many of us have a tendency to think that we are better than the other guy.  We think that our life has been harder or we have contributed more.  We see it every day.  We demonstrate it every day.

So?  Don’t toot your own horn.  Learn to be a servant of God and your fellow travelers. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Have a Straight Edge

(Proverbs 24:26 KJV)  Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

The Keil and Delitzsch commentary has a long paragraph discussing “kisses” (5401a) and “lips” (8193).  We will skip that because they come to the conclusion that the important point here is that it is a good thing to give the “right” (5228) “answer” (1697).

Such a simple statement.  It seems obvious.  Some answers are “right” (5228), some are wrong.  But that is not the contrast here.  This word means “straight” not “correct.”  It means that we don’t beat around the bush or cloud the issues.

Have you been there?  Someone asks a question.  You know the answer and how to give it.  Instead, for reasons that can vary, you get vague and obscure.  This is implying that such an answer is a form of lying and thus is a sin.

So?  Speak straight.  Speak truth.  God is making a list and doesn’t need to check it twice. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Booze in Balance

(Proverbs 23:30 KJV)  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

This is a verse that does not stand alone.  By itself it is two incomplete phrases.  They both refer back to the previous verse that is talking about the problems of people who drink too much.  It should be pointed out that the condemnation is not about “wine” (3196) itself, but the tendency to “tarry” (linger NASB) (309) over it.  You would need to compare this to Proverbs 9:1-2 where it talks about wisdom mixing its wine.  I am struggling with this.  I have strong feelings about the abuse of alcohol.  Like many things in life, it is the abuse that is the problem.

We must find a balance in life.  The Bible does this.  In alcohol the balance is in moderation.  Moderation is a range of use.  In the case of alcohol the range is from none to small amounts.  Abstaining is moderation on this issue because alcohol is not a need.

So?  Strive for the Biblical balance in all things.  Be careful not to condemn those who find a different balance.  Seek righteousness in action as well as attitude. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Amazing Grace, Don’t Leave Home without It

(Proverbs 22:5 KJV)  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

Here we have that KJV word “froward” again.  For me in the NASB, it reads “perverse” (6141).  These are people who go without caution.  They pay no attention to the reality of their journey.  In my later years I have begun to play golf.  If I break 100 I have a shouting spell.  That should tell you how good my game isn’t.  I am also very cheap.  I don’t like to lose balls so I go looking for them in the forest by the fairway. 

If you don’t pay attention you will come out of the rough bleeding from more places than you thought you had blood.  Often you don’t even feel the pain of the cut.  The bushes and plants in the area that is out of bounds are covered with “thorns” (6791) and all kinds of sharp points. 

Those cuts will heal on their own.  The cuts brought on by sin will not.

So?  Be aware of your journey.  Be aware there are dangers and traps.  Think of the words of the hymn Amazing Grace:
“Through many dangers toils and snares”
Pray for grace to bring you home. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

(Proverbs 21:31 KJV)  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

This verse reminds me of a quote that begins, “The best laid plans of mice and men....”  I don’t have it in my head and have no internet access while I am writing so I can’t give you the entire quote, but you get the idea.

We are expected to look ahead and plan.  We are not expected to live in the moment.  Some would disagree with that.  They define faith as life cruising and letting God worry about all the details.  There are times and topics where that is the best plan.  But if you don’t plant the seeds, you will get no edible crop.  If you don’t hoe the weeds, the crop you plant will not flourish.  If you don’t bring in the crop, there will be nothing in the storehouse.

The key item that planners leave out is the only item that cruisers put in.  We must have a foundational understanding that the results, the “victory” (8668), is in God’s hands.  We should always consider the timeless moral standards of God.  We should factor in the current knowledge we have of what God is doing in our lives.  We should use our spiritual gifts.

So?  In a crisis we go to autopilot.  On the day to day, plan and trust.  Your schedule is your schedule.  I can’t even begin to recommend which to use today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why vs What

(Proverbs 20:27 KJV)  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

We can play all kinds of mind games with God, but our “spirit” (5397) is an open book to Him.  This is not the most common root word.  Hebrew has a word for soul and a word for spirit that are both much more common.  I think this would be close to the conscience.  We know when we are wrong unless we have trained our conscience to ignore it.

God is very much aware of our inner motivation.  For Him the question often is not what we have done, but why we have done it.  Thus we have places where offerings and prayers are called abominations because they are given as attempts to manipulate God or fool people.

So?  What does your inner spirit say about your motivation.  Be honest.  No one is listening but you and God and He already knows the answer.  Pray for a change of heart, or spirit, if that is what is needed.  Repentance is always in style in the kingdom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

GO Is G as in Grace, O as in Obedience

(Proverbs 19:29 KJV)  Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

God will make “judgments” (8201).  Yes, we are under grace.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that there are still expectations and God has not gone to sleep.  He is still watching our behavior.  Time and time again in scripture it talks about our actions having rewards and punishments.

How does that work out in regard to grace?  There are many disagreements there.  All agree that we are saved by the grace of God and that faith is required.  Many, if not most, would agree that somehow obedience is important or necessary.  Since I don’t want to write a book here, just accept that God did not send Jesus to the cross and then go to sleep with a job well done.

He is still on the throne.  He will not be mocked.  Remember the scary words of Jesus,
(Matthew 7:21 KJV)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
So?  Trust, yes.  Obey, yes.  Why make it an issue?  As the commercial says, “Just do it.”  We can argue about the importance of each later. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wounds of Gossip

(Proverbs 18:8 KJV)  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

“Wounds” (dainty morsels NASB) (3859) are the snack foods of life.  This word is only used two places, here and Proverbs 26:22.  Both verses are exactly the same.  My comments are triggered by the NASB translation of “dainty morsels.”

Snack foods usually only guarantee one “nutrient,” calories.  I say nutrient because the energy to run our bodies comes from calories and some of the gurus I have read say a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from.  So even the little bits of junk food have the potential to add something to keep us alive.  Over all their contribution is questionable.

The same with gossip.  The juicy little tidbit being passed on may contain a kernel of truth, or at least in it’s original form it did.  In the form and quantity of it’s passage only harm results.  How do you deal with snack foods?  Some avoid them altogether.  Some pick carefully and limit quantities. 

We can’t avoid all contact or listening.  That means we have to use our minds, spirits and discernment to limit our intake to that which is beneficial.

So?  Filter.  Accept and reject.  Remember that filters need to be cleaned regularly.  Keep in contact with the Great Cleaner. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hope for a Shameful Son

(Proverbs 17:2 KJV)  A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

I see a bit of backhanded hope in this verse.  The focus is, of course, on the servant who is faithful.  What about the son who “causeth shame” (acts shamefully NASB) (954)?  Last post I was talking about the one who worked hard at evil.  Here we are talking about a drifter.  It may be stretching, but he is still considered a son.  At least for a time. 

I don’t think this is an invitation to drifting aimlessly through life with no consequences.  Paul points out there is a point where lack of faith has consequences.
(Romans 11:22 KJV)  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
You will need to read the entire passage in Romans 11 to get the full context and understand the danger, but here we are reminded of the patience of God.  Causing shame does not seem to cut you from your “inheritance” (5159), but it reduces your portion.

So?  Live in obedient faith.  Live like it makes a difference.  It does. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Getting a Little Shut Eye

(Proverbs 16:30 KJV)  He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

Although I like the word “winks” (6095) in the NASB, the KJV is spot on by translating it “shutteth”.  This is the only place the Hebrew word is used.  I picture someone closing his eyes to think about something.  We have someone who is concentrating.

The purpose of his focus is to “devise” (2803) “froward things” (evil NASB) (7463a).  This is not Christian meditation but evil planning. 

Again we are reminded that there are some people in the world who put a lot of energy into their mischief.  It is not a matter of making a mistake or a weak moment.  They are out to get what they want and what they want is evil.

So?  Go through the day with your eyes open and your spirit sensitive.  Pray that God would “deliver us from evil.”  Rejoice in your salvation and be careful not to walk into any doors.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Heart of the Answer

(Proverbs 15:28 KJV)  The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

Two points are given here about how the “righteous” (6662) speaks. 

The first is that we should always speak from the “heart” (3820).  There is a consistency that is a part of the upright life.  We say what we believe.  We behave to an inner standard.  To use a cliche, we “practice what we preach.”


Because the change that has taken place in us is not just a superficial whitewash.  When the blood of the Lamb cleanses us and the Holy Spirit fills us, it is a cleansing that goes all the way through.  It goes all the way to the heart.  It was the measure that was held up to the early church to prove that gentiles were accepted by God.
(Acts 15:9 KJV)  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
It starts in our core.  If that isn’t changed, nothing will stay changed.

So?  If you aren’t there, call on God.  If you are, rejoice and let it control all of you. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Escape Clause

(Proverbs 14:27 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

The overview here says that “fear” (3374) will keep us from “death” (4194).  The KJV says we will “depart” (5493) from the “snares” (4170).  The NASB says we will “avoid” them.  It seems a little different emphasis but I find hope in both translations.  The basic meaning of the word is “to turn aside.”  You can see how you can get both translations.

Which applies to you?  It depends on the day, the need in your life and the voice of the Holy Spirit.  This is the glorious truth of the inspiration of scripture.  The Holy Spirit is the interpreter who brings out the truth.  He will meet you where you are and it does no damage to the truth.

So?  First, walk in fear.  Second, make sure that death is not a part of your portfolio of options.  You can escape it or avoid it all together, but life is there. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stink Bombs

(Proverbs 13:5 KJV)  A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

A liar is “loathsome” (acts disgustingly NASB) (887).  This literally has the idea of being a little stinker.  There are places in the Bible where I wish the translators would allow the literal meaning to stand.  There are some word pictures that could burn the image into our hearts much better than modern equivalents.  For instance the NASB marginal note points out that the literal meaning is “causes a bad odor.” 

This is a picture that is used throughout the Bible.  A word search for the words “sweet savour” in the KJV brings up 88 hits, all but one in the Old Testament.  It is tied to the sacrifices offered up to God.  It is used once in the New Testament.  Let me give you that in its context.
(2 Corinthians 2:14-16 KJV)  Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.  For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish  To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
God’s people also have a smell but it is now defined as the smell of life.

So?  What is your aroma?  Are you the smell of death or life? 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Law of Unintended Consequences

(Proverbs 12:6 KJV)  The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

How do your “words” (1697) effect others?  Today I want to focus on unintended consequences.  We see the Law of Unintended Consequences in application all around us.  One good example was the War on Poverty unleashed by Lyndon B. Johnson.  The purpose was to destroy poverty and bring the poor into the mainstream.  That was a worthy goal.  The means was lots of government money applied with no moral standards.

What were the results?  After billions of dollars, poverty still seems to be winning.  In addition we have destroyed the family unit in black American families.  When this war began 80% of black children were born into intact families.  Fifty years later 80% are born out of wedlock. 

If you judge by the results, intended or otherwise, it would seem that the proposal was a case of “wicked” (7563) “words” (1697).  Have we changed our approach?  No we just keep doing the same things.

So?  You can’t change government policy by yourself but you can see the failure and apply it in how you treat your family and friends.  Beware of the wicked with good intentions. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winning Souls

(Proverbs 11:30 KJV)  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

What an unusual statement for the Old Testament.  Look at that second phrase.  We don’t think of the OT as talking about winning souls, yet there it is.

It is not a mistranslation.  This is the Hebrew word “nephesh.”  It is a very common word in the Old Testament and is usually translated “soul.”  The next most common translation is “life.” 

Here is an additional part of the definition of wisdom, winning souls.  It means that the wise person sees the perspective of eternity and is concerned about bringing people to Jesus.

So?  Even the book of Proverbs is concerned about evangelism and discipling.  Maybe we should be too. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Original Spock Greeting

(Proverbs 10:27 KJV)  The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

I can think of many reasons why “fear” (3374) “prolongs” (3253) “days” (life NASB) (3117) [yom]. 

Fear can keep you from doing something stupid.  A fear of heights can keep you away from places that invite falling.  Fear can keep you from swimming in dangerous surf.  Fear can keep your mouth shut at key times.  Those are obvious.

But we are talking about the fear of the “Lord” (3068) [Yahveh].   This is the word that is translated Jehovah four times in the KJV.   This is not the craven fear of terror but the holy awe of the eternal God.  This is a fear that not only keeps us from evil but transforms our inner being.  When you are transformed there are consequences, good ones.

I have read reports that say that people who worship regularly tend to be happier, more successful and, yes, live longer.  I didn’t need to read the research, I have already read the Word.

So?  You already have what Spock wishes for you.  You are going to live long and prosper.  And then you will live forever and prosper more. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Not a Spectator Sport

(Proverbs 9:15 KJV)  To call passengers who go right on their ways:

Who are these “passengers” (5674/1870) ( who pass NASB (5674a))?  They are the righteous.  They are the ones who are on the “ways” (paths NASB) (734) that are “right” (straight NASB) (3474). 

Actually it is not just that they are on the right path.  The righteous are in the process of “making straight” (3474) their ways.  Joshua said, “Choose this day...”  (Joshua 24:15).  Jesus said, “Follow me.”  These words appear 46 times in the gospels.  There is an active involvement in being a follower of Jesus.  There is a buy-in that is expected. 

Christianity was not designed as a spectator sport.

So?  Make your path straight (NASB).  Go right (KJV).  Righteousness is required, not optional. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Take It to the Bank

(Proverbs 8:22 KJV)  The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

Wisdom is timeless.  We believe that there are certain principles that were established by God before the creation.  They reflect His nature.  God “possessed” (7069) wisdom. 

This goes against the teaching of our culture.  We live in a time when absolute truth, and wisdom, are rejected.  Everything is relative.  Nothing is unchanging.  Common sense tells us that some things are relative.  You drive slower in a midnight ice storm than you do on a sunny day.  Other things you can take to the bank.  Adultery is wrong.  Your college professors might disagree but what do they know?

This should give us a secure place to stand.  Not in arrogance.  We are not the ones that are always right, God is.  And God has made His teachings clear enough for the simple and complex enough for the scholar.

So?  Live what you know.  Ignore the nonsense as much as you can.  Remind yourself, “This, too, shall pass.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Gate-Keeper

(Proverbs 7:2 KJV)  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

The margin tells us that the word “apple” (380) literally means “pupil.”  For those of you who were not listening to your science teacher, the pupil is that black spot in the center of your eye.  It is the gate-keeper for all of the light that enters your life.  The iris adjusts to allow different amounts of light through depending on how bright it is.  The lens focuses the light on the back of the eye, but the pupil is the entry point.

Make the logical jump.  The “law” (teachings NASB) (8451) [torah] is to be the filter for all the information that comes into our lives.  Notice I said “is to be,” I did not say “is.”  Too often we do not filter things through the Word of God. 

Think about the things you hear at work.  As a teacher I hear all kinds of pagan thoughts and plain nonsense spouted by people who should know better.  How do I know better?  Because I filter things through the “apple” (380) of my “eye” (5869).

So?  You can’t tell the difference between wisdom and foolishness is you don’t know Truth.  Get started today before you get any further behind.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Playing Gotcha

(Proverbs 6:2 KJV)  Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

Is there a difference between being “snared” (3369) and being “taken” (caught NASB) (3920)?  My quick response is that one we walk into, the other catches us.  One is the immediate result of our current actions.  The other is the long term consequence of our past irresponsibility. 

Our quick and thoughtless speech can get us “taken” (caught NASB) (3920).  Maybe not immediately.  We can often get away with things.  But it will be there.  Recently I pushed a signal.  I was the third car back and before I could get to the crosswalk the light turned orange.  Only after I pushed through did I remember that there are cameras at the intersection.  Was I caught?  Time will tell.

So?  Have you been caught?  Time will tell.  While you wait, try not to push it next time. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ponder the Path

(Proverbs 5:6 KJV)  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

Compare the KJV and the NASB on this verse. 
(Proverbs 5:6 NAS77)  She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.
The basic words seem to be the same but the actors are different.  The NASB seems to be warning us about our actions.  The KJV seems to be warning us about others trying to stunt and kill our spiritual growth.

Which is it?  Again we have a case of both/and rather than either/or.  There is a valuable lesson in each approach and it is the same lesson at heart.  Don’t let anything keep you from the “path (734) of life (2416).”  Make sure you take the time to “ponder” (6424).

Pondering doesn’t just happen but it can be nurtured.  It might mean turning off the radio as you drive or the TV when you are working around the house.  It might mean staying off the phone or ignoring the latest tweet.

So?  As happens so often, the ball is in your court.  What are you going to do with it.  Today. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012


(Proverbs 4:3 KJV)  For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

How do we relearn spiritual flexibility?  I don’t mean to be gullible and naive, that is something we are warned about.
(Ephesians 4:14 KJV)  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
I mean to be willing to listen and change, to embrace wisdom and revival.  We get so set in our ways that it is hard to change.

Usually it is a slow process.  Think of the old process we were taught to go through when we received a new book.  We were to turn back a few pages at a time and press them down.  Think of the process of slowly adding oils and softeners to an old piece of leather.  You don’t just say, “Be flexible!” and start violent movement.

So?  Take the time to grow.  Make the investment.  Usually we can start with small steps, but start. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Evil Is As Evil Doesn’t

(Proverbs 3:29 KJV)  Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

This seems to be a no-brainer but if that were true it would not be included in Proverbs.

What kind of excuses do we make for the way we treat people?  Do we claim they deserve it, or that it is their fault or that we could not help how things turned out?  We have a million lines but they all ignore a clear command. 

“Devise” (2790a) has the implication of deliberation.  Notice that the number has an “a” after it.  There seem to be two Hebrew words that are homonyms but have totally different meanings.  This one has the idea of cutting into and is used either artistically, as to engrave, or as labor, as in plowing a field. 

So?  Spend some time reflecting on how you look at the people around you.  What are you planning for their lives?  Nothing, you say?  Maybe doing nothing is a lower standard than God would have of His ambassadors. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Learning to Lean

(Proverbs 2:2 KJV)  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Here it is again.  The goals are “wisdom” (2451) and “understanding” (8394).  Actually we should say, “if” those are the goals because we show our goals by our focus and action.  We show those are our goals when we chose to “incline” (make attentive NASB) (7181) and to“apply” (incline NASB) (5186).

Have you ever tried to walk forward when leaning backwards?  Try it some time.  Maybe you will have more luck than I do, but the direction you lean determines the way you go.  The reason you can ride a bike with no hands is because you learn to lean.

So?  Learn to lean or learn to incline.  You may have your hands full but you can still signal the direction you want to go.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Ball Is in Your Court

(Proverbs 1:29 KJV)  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Human beings like to make a lot of noise about emotions.  We claim our animals love us.  We want the government to care about us.  We get enraged by the actions of a TV star.  We feel victorious when a football team wins a game.  We are emotional creatures.  God made us that way. 

He also made us creatures of the mind.  Just as God is a God of emotion, He is a God of reason and rationality.  He made us in His image.  We need to remember that when we look at the important focal points of life. 

This verse is explaining why some people will be eternally separated from God.  It is explaining why there will come a time when it is too late to call on God.  It will not because we feel.  It will be because we “choose” (977).

So?  What do you chose today?  It is not a new question.
(Joshua 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
It is not new but it is asked every day. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dress for Success

(Proverbs 31:22 KJV)  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

An excellent wife dresses well.  Admittedly, she “makes” (6213a) it herself.  It was a different age with different ways.  But what she makes is “silk” (fine linen NASB) (8336).  Today with the invention of the cotton gin and the industrial revolution we have access to many fine fabrics.  We have stores full of them in any price range. 

 Her color is “purple” (713), the color that will mark royalty in Roman times.  Purple was an expensive dye.

In short, she knew how to be a class act.  This is praised.

So?  Don’t be afraid to fill your life with quality.  Quality will often last longer than cheap and bring more satisfaction.  But understand the difference between investing in quality and throwing your money into flash and fashion.  You can do it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Look Before You Leap

(Proverbs 30:23 KJV)  For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

Once again the KJV brings a nuance that the NASB misses.  In fact the NASB has the weakest translation of this passage when compared to the ones I have in my software.  The NASB calls this woman “unloved” (8130).  She certainly was but there was good reason for that.  The KJV uses “odious” and others used “hated” and “hateful.” 

Now look at the context beginning in verse 21 where it talks about the things that make the earth shake.

The point is that there are some people who can ruin your life if you get too close to them.  I don’t know how they worm their way into close relationships.  I don’t know how an “odious” woman can get a guy to pop the question.  I don’t know how some people become business partners, but we have all seen it happen.

So?  Obviously we are called to be lovers, not haters.  But a word of caution.  Before you tie yourself to someone, seek guidance.  Prayer, friends, and family come to mind but one of the biggest reasons we get into these situation is because we want something and refuse to see the facts in front of our faces. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Go to Prime, Not the Backup

(Proverbs 29:26 KJV)  Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.

As I write this, election season is upon us.  We are concerned about who will be the next president, who will represent us in Congress and in our states, possibly who will sit on the benches of our courts and numerous issues on the ballot.  These are legitimate concerns for people who live in a republic.  We are to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and in our republic Caesar, or “ruler” (4910), is the Constitution and not the president. 

At the same time we need to understand the limits of political action.  Don’t back off from it but at the same time, don’t back off from seeking the mind of the Lord.  While we vote on those who pass the laws we live by, we need to give our first allegiance to the eternal law of God.  It is easy to forget that. 

So?  Campaign.  Get involved.  Vote.  But understand it is the backup system not your first choice. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pride or Principle?

(Proverbs 28:25 KJV)  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

When we are “proud” (arrogant NASB) (7342) we are so sure of our own rightness that we are quick to “stir” (1624) the pot.  I see this in myself as I struggle with how to deal with people and situations.  I keep thinking that I am right and I can cleverly work these things out.

Our desire to prove we are right causes “strife” (4066).  I have to believe this is different than making a clear statement on principle.  One is sin; one, honorable.  How do you tell the difference?  Usually principle benefits others and arrogance benefits ourselves. 

So?  What is your goal today?  Are you out to toot your own horn and line your own pockets or are you out to plant a tree for others to enjoy?  Motivation and attitude are so important. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Let It Come

(Proverbs 27:2 KJV)  Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

Do you ever seek praise?  Think of all the times we have heard false humility from public speakers, “I really don’t deserve all that.”  In their hearts they think they do, and they might.  The point of this is that public praise should come from others in a spontaneous way, not fished for and sought.

When if comes, accept it with a simple, “Thank you.”  Get on with life.  Give God the glory and bask in His reflection.

So?  Sometimes you get it right.  It is good for other people to tell you that.  Rest easy, tomorrow you will probably mess up again. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ignorant, Stupid or Evil?

(Proverbs 26:16 KJV)  The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

I like books that cite the source of their information.  I am frustrated by people that quote the famous and don’t say where the quote was found.  Why?  Because I may trust the thinking of John Wesley but I don’t trust the accuracy of people who quote him.  I remember a “scholar” quoting Wesley on his concern for the homeless.  He made the mistake of giving his source which I, by coincidence, had just read.  Although the words may have been accurate, they had nothing to do with the homeless.  The man was either ignorant, stupid or a liar. 

We cannot be that way and serve a holy God.  We can make mistakes but they will be less frequent if we will use “reason" (discreet NASB) (2940).  Don’t reuse proof texts that you heard someone else use.  Read the Word yourself.  Quote it yourself.  Use it accurately.  As Paul told Timothy,
(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So?  To use someone else’s observation, you may be the only Bible some people will read.  Unfortunately that often refers to some who have gone to church all their lives.  Don’t be part of the ignorant in the things of God. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vassal Vessels

(Proverbs 25:4 KJV)  Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

When I see the word “vessel” (3627) in this context I think of the finished product of the smith, so this does not seem to make sense.  Then I think of a vessel being a means of reaching a destination and it comes together.  Even a cup is a vessel for moving liquid from one place to another or for holding ingredients.  The pure silver is the means, or medium, which the smith uses to reach his goal.  The choice of goals will depend on the composition and purity of the material to be used.

We are vessels of God because we are made for a purpose.  We are vessels who are vassals.  We are not trophy cups sitting on a shelf, we are Tupperware carrying lunch for a real need.  We are not trophy wives, we are servants and ambassadors.  A verse comes to mind.
(Romans 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We are vessels for His purpose.

So?  You were redeemed for a purpose.  Keep your eyes open for the part you are playing in salvation history. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Long Term Blessing

(Proverbs 24:25 KJV)  But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

It is key to get the context here.  In verse 23 Solomon is condemning partiality based on class and status.  Justice is defined as all being equal before the law, a concept that is expressed in the Declaration of Independence when it talks about all men being created equal.  So consider the subject under consideration.

Then add the time element.  Justice means the “blessing” (1293) will “come” (935).  It just takes a little bit of time to see it.  Think about it.  When a parent disciplines a child they do not see instant adult character.  When a farmer cuts a weed, it is not considered part of the harvest.  When a believer reads a verse he doesn’t come close to the whole counsel of God.

But they are necessary steps.

So?  Be a dispenser of justice, impartial justice, both up and down.  Don’t fall for the political motivation that talks about pagan concepts like “social justice.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Woe, First Verse

(Proverbs 23:29 KJV)  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

In case you are not paying attention, this is the beginning of a section on the evils of drunkenness.  This is quite a list.  Disclaimer:  I don’t drink anything alcoholic and I never have done more than taste a few variations.  You could put all of the alcohol I have consumed in a twelve ounce can.

But even I know that alcohol creates “woe” (190).  This is the only place this word is used in the masculine but it is frequent in the feminine.  I don’t know how to read that.  The point is that alcohol is a path to desperation.

There are many things in life that are not necessarily sin in themselves but they open the door to abuse and escalation.  It is better to not start than to be unable to stop.

So?  Don’t let “Woe is me!” become the second verse of “One drink won’t hurt me.” 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blind Sided

(Proverbs 22:3 KJV)  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Some people act like “evil” (7463a) does not exist.  They are called “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a).  This is not a compliment.  It is not a natural condition.  It is a choice.  So many people chose to accept the popular line that evil is from society.  They like the idea that we can do and be anything we can imagine.  They are like Dorothy in Oz going through the ritual that will take her home.  They don’t seem to notice that they still aren’t in Kansas.

Like the arrogant, the simple just keep pushing on.  Facts don’t confuse them.  Failure does not distract them.  They don’t learn from anyone’s mistakes.  They are not delivered, they are “punished” (6064).

So?  Open your eyes.  Use your mind.  Living by faith is not blind and stupid, it is reasoned and informed.  We know the One in whom we have faith.  Part of faith is obedience. 
(Romans 1:5 KJV)  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
To be repetitious, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way...” 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Answers without a Clue

(Proverbs 21:30 KJV)  There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

It may be apocryphal or fictional but one of the quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln was, “I am not concerned with God being on my side as much as my being on God’s side.”  In addition to being apocryphal it is a paraphrase, but you get the point.

When you go “against” (5048) the Lord you throw a lot of things under the bus.  You discard “wisdom” (2451), “understanding” (8394) and “counsel” (6098).  These are all big concerns of Proverbs with frequent references.  What Solomon is trying to do is get us to recognize the real thing.  Just as you cannot buy a real Rolex on a street corner for ten dollars, you cannot find real wisdom ignoring contact with the living God.  It is like trying to use your cell phone in the middle of the mountains.

So?  Don’t settle for comfortable and undemanding substitutes.  Just because someone claims to have the answers doesn’t mean they have a clue. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Harvest Means Separation

(Proverbs 20:26 KJV)  A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

This seems a bit violent but the principle is important.  After a verse saying we should not act rashly, we are now told that a “wise” (2450) leader “scattereth” (winnows NASB) (2219).  Is this saying that a wise leader would drive the “wicked” (7563) out of the church?

This picture is continued in chapter 27:
(Proverbs 27:22 NAS77)  Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his folly will not depart from him.
As I was reading this over today I saw a parallel I had not seen before.  I was thinking about how Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, etc.  How does that tie in?  I think Romans 13 is the answer.  As individuals our first responsibility is to turn the other cheek.  The “king” (4428), or as Romans terms it, “higher powers” KJV or “governing authorities” NASB, has a different responsibility.
(Romans 13:4 KJV)  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Our role is to turn the other cheek.  The governments role is to wield the sword against evil.  How that works in a democratic form of government is beyond today’s scope.

So?  Let the king be the king.  We are to be servants.  I know, it’s not too glorious but such is life and such is eternity. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Original Little Rascals

(Proverbs 19:28 KJV)  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

Here is another synonym for a liar, he is a “ungodly” (1100) “witness” (5707).  The NASB has “rascally.”  Neither gets to the root meaning of the word.  The usual NASB translation comes closest.  It is usually “worthless.”  In the KJV it is usually translated as some variation of “children of Belial,” which is more literal and colorful.

However you want to translate it, the meaning is clear.  Honesty and truth are a part of the default behavior of the righteous and as you have heard me say many time, God expects us to be righteous.  That is one of the things that the Holy Spirit is sent to empower us toward.

So?  Make this a day devoid of rascality.  That is actually a word, by the way.  At least my spell checker says so.  Be a child of God, not a child of Belial.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


(Proverbs 18:7 KJV)  A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

I have resisted thinking of myself as a “fool” (3684), but that resistance may be even more evidence.  As I look at this I marvel that my “mouth” (6310) has not gotten me into more trouble.  It is so easy to make allowances for ourselves that we would not make for others.  This brings two thoughts that are probably a repetition but not in regard to our mouths.

Get serious about self-honesty.  I find it a constant challenge.  I am trying to start with the little one-sided conversations I have with myself.  You have them.  They are the things you mumble that you would never say to someone’s face.  I need to stop mumbling things I would never say in public.

I need to give others more leeway.  I must quit assuming that they have evil intentions.  It could be that they are simply as self-centered and obtuse as I am.

So?  There is always room for improvement.  That is why the Christian life is considered as journey as well as a decision.  After all the Bible calls it the Way, not the Spot. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Desert or Dessert?

(Proverbs 17:1 KJV)  Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

Most of us face a question every day.  “Hi.  How are you?”  I have programed myself to never answer, “Fine.”  I use the question as a hot button to get my mind in gear.  Really, how am I?  My standard answer now is “marvelous.”  Sometimes I might say “glorious.”  The strange thing is, I mean it.  How can this be?

My life, like yours if full of fences, obstacles and fetters.  We all face limitations on our dreams and fantasies.  Often we don’t have a choice.  I remember when I started teaching.  I replaced a fully trained and credentialed teacher who had several years of experience.  The kids ran her off in two weeks.  They thought they could do the same with me, but there was a difference.  She was a second salary.  I was a sole supporter with a wife, kids and a mortgage.  When we don’t have a choice we can at least gain some consolation from comparing our situation to those who are suffering more.

When I feel like life is giving me a “dry” (2720) “morsel” (6595), I take a moment to compare my life to what it must be like to live in some third world country or to be unemployed in this one.  Somewhere in the process I am reminded that I am a child of God with an eternity ahead of me.  It is truly “better” (2896a).

So?  Lift up your eyes.  Develop a long range view.  Rejoice in the blessings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Do-It-on-Yourself Kit

(Proverbs 16:29 KJV)  A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

Proverbs deals with a long list of personality types.  We have the sluggard, the fool and the wise.  Here we have the “violent (2555)” “man” (376) (man of violence NASB).  These different people are not creations of Solomon’s imagination but products of his experience.  Part of the purpose here is to make us aware, to give us goals and to warn us.

As always, do a self check.  Think a moment about how you relate to others.  Most of us have no trouble seeing this in others but we can be totally blind to our own actions.  So take a look. 

Do you find yourself getting your way because people don’t want to see your temper?  Do people walk on eggs around you?  Are there certain topics they are afraid to touch?

So?  Don’t make this a preaching point for others but an examination point for yourself.  Any changes needed?  Personal remodeling does not require a large bank account, just a big God.  And honesty. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Greedy Capitalists

(Proverbs 15:27 KJV)  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

On this verse I like the KJV more than the NASB but neither gets the nuance.  The NASB uses the phrase “profits (1214) illicitly (1214)”  The KJV says “greedy of gain.”  We need to understand the difference between making a profit and what this talks about.

Notice that the two words’ numbers are consecutive in the Hebrew.  One is the noun and one is the verb.  Neither word means the profit that is retained after a legal and non-coerced business transaction.  The verb will illustrate this.  The definition is “to cut off, break off, gain by violence.”  This would fit the coercion of the government.  This would fit the extortion of the mob demanding “protection insurance.”  This is not a word for profit gained in a free market.

Cheating and deception are an abomination to God.  Making a profit is blessed by God.  One does not require the other.  Reject the yells of the socialists in our culture who try to tell you different.

So?  Read and understand the Word, not your economics professor.  Rarely do they march to the same drummer. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Backslider Boredom

(Proverbs 14:14 KJV)  The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

As I read this through it struck me that you don’t know real boredom until you become a “backslider” (5472).  There is a sense in which being “filled” (7646) seems good, like on Thanksgiving, but have you noticed that after a certain point the taste starts to go down hill and eating more becomes a habit rather than a fulfillment?  Maybe it never hit you.  Maybe you are one of those who knows when to stop.  I salute you.

Why are the ungodly of the world so focused on entertainment?  It could be that they are easily bored because they are only concerned with self-gratification.

So?  Bored?  Get outside yourself.  Find someone to serve.  Find a way to give of yourself.  Try obedience.  You want excitement?  Stand up in a school board meeting and read a Bible verse about homosexuality. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do Open Minds Mean Open Mouths?

(Proverbs 13:3 KJV)  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

In our culture the concept of “opens wide” (6589) often has a positive spin.  We talk about having an open mind.  We talk about being open to new things.  In personalities open means honest and up front.  I think we can see that.

Here the implication is negative.  It is only used two times and the other is a bit vulgar for a G rated blog.  This word means being open to destructive actions.  Talking too much can cause “destruction” (ruin NASB) (4288).  In case you are not paying attention, that is a bad thing. 

So?  We all have times when we talk before we think.  It might be time for repentance and asking forgiveness.  It might just be time to be aware and work on improvement.  Your mouth, your decision.  My mouth, my choice. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wife Shopping

(Proverbs 12:4 KJV)  A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Do men really want a “virtuous” (excellent NASB) (2428) “woman” (wife NASB) (802)?  It sounds good.  It is obviously meant as a good thing.  God would approve.  Unfortunately we tend to be attracted to the flashy instead of the “virtuous.” 

We have an instinct about this word.  It’s most common translation in both NASB and KJV is “army.”  The word means “strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army.”  These are wonderful qualities in an executive secretary but in a wife we tend to want what was in the traditional wedding vow, one who will “love and obey.”

I would guess that God knows better.

So?  Most of us aren’t looking for wives, or husbands for that matter.  We are making choices in other areas of life.  Maybe we should be using God’s measures of value and worth, not those of our culture or natural inclinations. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Staying the Course

(Proverbs 11:29 KJV)  He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

I wasn’t satisfied with last months comment on this verse.  Some trouble is necessary.  It is not always smooth sailing when you are raising children in the way in which they should go.  That is not the problems this verse is talking about.  Those problems are temporary and lay the foundation for future blessings.

We are not guaranteed smooth sailing when we follow the ways of God.  Read the words of Jesus,
(Matthew 5:10-12 KJV)  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
There is a difference between strong leadership and troubling.  It won’t be in the words of your children or neighbors, they have an interest in disputing with you.  It will be in the long term results and the direction your “house” (1004) will go for eternity.

So?  Always be willing to do an attitude check and adjust your sails if necessary, but if you are on track then follow the path. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Silly Rabbit

(Proverbs 10:26 KJV)  As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

Have you ever had someone let you down?  Silly question, of course you have.  Have you ever wanted to kick yourself for trusting them?  Silly question, of course you have.  Go ahead and kick.  You really did know better. 

We sometimes think we are giving people a chance to prove themselves.  The problem is there needs to be some “buy in” for that to take place.  You need to make it clear you are giving them an opportunity to prove themselves.  They need to understand you are taking a chance. 

This also helps you make yourself aware of what you are doing.  It gives you a chance to be prepared if things don’t work out.  The point here is that it probably won’t work out.

So?  Beware of trusting a “lazy one” (6102) to accomplish anything important.  They are not to be trusted.  I know you want to, just don’t depend on the results.