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.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

One Side of the Scale

(Pro 23:4 KJV) Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

This is a verse about balance.  Actually it is an unbalanced view of balance because it only warns against one extreme.  If you proof text and try to build positions on one verse you see here a condemnation of the wealthy.  That is cultish, not Biblical.  The Bible does not condemn wealth, it condemns immoral ways of earning it and unethical ways of using it.  One of the unacceptable ways of relating to wealth is being consumed with gaining it. 

Keep in mind that at the other end we have sloth and the welfare mentality.  Those are also condemned.

So?  Work hard and be a good steward.  To some that will lead to wealth.  To the rest it will provide what we need. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


(Pro 22:12 KJV) The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

Some Christians have a fear of new translations of the Bible.  They like the KJV and don’t see the need for anything else.  The more I use it in writing this blog, the more respect I have for it.  That does not mean there is no place for bringing the language up to date.  The reason I believe it can be done is that the Holy Spirit did not go on vacation in 1612 after the Authorized Version was finished.  He worked with the committees of scholars that King James had gathered together.  I think He still works with devout scholars today.

The biggest danger to me in new translations is the danger of what we see happening in our schools.  A better translation is not necessarily easier, it is more accurate.  If the reader does not need to go to the dictionary once in awhile, then they are not paying attention.  You cannot describe the truths of eternity in kindergarten language.  You can’t really get there with a Ph.D. either but it gives you more insight when you have a better understanding.

So?  Keep studying and expect the Holy Spirit to push your boundaries no matter what your level of knowledge.  Grow can be eternal. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Negative Approach

(Pro 21:13 KJV) Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

If you stop to think about it this is a variation of the Golden Rule.
(Mat 7:12 KJV) Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
The concept of the Golden Rule is not limited to the Bible.  Some present it in a proactive way, like Jesus did in the verse quoted.  Others put it in a restrictive way, don’t do something that you don’t want done to you.  Here Proverbs takes that approach. 

So?  If you don’t listen to others, don’t expect them to listen to you.  It may not be the way you want it, but it is fair. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Another Day, Another Reminder

(Pro 20:19 KJV) He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

Yesterday I was reading and writing about having compassion on the poor.  Today it is about “gossip” (6601a/8193).  Let me guess, tomorrow with be about sloth.  Sometimes it seems like God is out to get me.  My belief is that He already has me so I guess I should say that He is out to mold me.

Molding me can be very uncomfortable.  Think of the ways that a cook makes little balls of food.  If it is melon balls then you cut out what is wanted.  It it is meatballs, you take a portion and roll and squeeze.  If chocolate, heat and pour into a mold.  None of these are enjoyable.

So?  I guess the quicker we learn the quicker God can go on to other lessons.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Poor Thinking

(Pro 19:17 KJV) He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

It seems like this verse is brought to my attention more often than it should.  Maybe I should say, “More often than I want”.  This is an area of my life that I need to continually take to the sharpening stone.  I tend to feel like I am doing well because I deserve it or earned it.  In the morning when I am getting my hat on for the day the Lord keeps reminding me of the blessings He has poured out on me.  It comes during the time I am being thankful.  I often think about all the hands that have gone into the simple thing like a cup of coffee.  I am now reading a book about World War II and it keeps hitting me how blessed I am not to have lived in eastern Europe or Asia during those years.

So?  We need to be thankful and show our gratitude by being more gracious to those who are “poor” (1800b).  One of the truths of life is there is usually someone worse off than we are. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Name It

(Pro 18:10 KJV) The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

It might be a good moment to stop and think about all the songs we sing in worship that mention the name of Jesus.  It doesn’t matter if it is a hymn or a contemporary bit of repetition, there is a lot about the name.  Historically names have significance.  A family name can open doors.  A first name can identify your ethnic background.  A lot of modern names reflect something about the disturbed nature of the parents. 

Here the reference is to the name of the “Lord” (3068) [yahweh].  The key thing that we need to understand is that the name means “I am”.  It is God reminding us that He actually exists.  He is not the formulation of a bunch of theologians or a frustrated author.  He is not one of the gods of fantasy novels that can die or grow senile or lose its power.  He is God, now and forever.

So?  Think about that and have a nice day. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Window and the Chair

(Pro 17:24 KJV) Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

Wisdom is often a matter of focus.  Picture the nature lover who is busy with the glory of a far off mountain peak and doesn’t see the ravine in front of him.  You laugh but have you seen the statistics involving people dying while they take selfies of themselves?  They will take one step back to get a better angle.  The problem is they are already on the edge of disaster. 

So?  It is great to admire the sunrise and sunset.  I have been doing that today.  Before I admire what is outside the window I need to make sure that the chair is under me before I sit down and that the coffee cup goes onto the coaster. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Righteous Excuse

(Pro 16:12 KJV)  It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

The authority of leadership is “established” (3559) in “righteousness” (6666).  Down through history there has been a constant tendency for kings and people with other titles to assume that righteousness is defined by their choice of behaviors.  Thus we have believers in the divine right of kings who felt like any perversion was righteous because they were doing it and they were the king.  In us common folk it shows itself in what the psychologists call rationalization.  We have an awesome ability to make excuses for whatever we want and call it good.

We need to remember and remind others that righteousness is not defined by the actions of celebrities and trend setters but by God Himself.  If you violate those standards then you have stepped out of the bounds of being good.  People keep saying that it is impossible to keep the law.  Actually the basics are within our grasp.  Look over the Ten Commandments and you will find that, except for putting no gods before Him, the rest are quite doable. 

So?  Take this righteousness things seriously.  God does. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fool Choice

(Pro 15:7 KJV) The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

How do you determine good preaching?  Often we go with the popular approach, was it entertaining?  Did the time pass quickly?  Did I like the jokes?  You can have all that and be listening to a fool in robes.  Don’t get me wrong, I like all those things but when it comes down to it, has anything significant been said?  I have heard it attributed to John Wesley that the purpose of preaching is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.  You do that by passing on the content of the scripture.

So?  Next time you hear someone preaching ask yourself if the Bible is being shared.  Check the source material to see if what is being said is from God or from the psychology department.  You didn’t bring your Bible?  Then I guess the question is who is the bigger fool, you or the preacher? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ten Count

(Pro 14:29 KJV) He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

Have you ever observed someone who is doused, turns around seething with indignation, sees who dumped it on him and immediately calms down?  Not only have I seen it, I have experienced it.  What changes the reaction?  “Understanding” (8394).  If you are a teenage boy and you see that the attacker is a young lady you like, the attack becomes an enjoyable moment of flirting.  If it was your grandmother trying to get your attention, respect kicks in.

Understanding involves allowing the mind that moment to think before your mouth, or other parts of your body, responds.  It comes automatically for some.  Others must develop it.  It is part of the popular mythology of counting to ten.

So?  Don’t waste your anger quota on trivial irritations. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Freedom of Unspeech

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

Americans who have read the Constitution are aware that we have what is called the “freedom of speech”.  I don’t know about you but when I listen or read what is called news or free speech I sometimes wonder if that is such a good idea.  This verse reminds us that just because we have the political freedom to speak our mind, it is not always the right thing to do.

The focus here is on our personal safety.  There are times to keep our mouth shut because to say anything would incite a violent reaction.  There are times, as we have seen in the case of General Mike Flynn, where speaking boldly puts you in jail.  And of course there are times when it is just wisdom in inaction to be silent.

So?  It is much more frequent for most of us to say too much than it is to say too little.  Isn’t that a reminder we need? 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Call a Friend

(Pro 12:26 KJV)The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

Recently I bought a piece of equipment that I really did not know how to use.  My wife urged me to call a friend who had one and listen to his wisdom.  Being a man I wanted to figure it out for myself.  Bad choice.  What is the point of having friends who know things if you don’t take advantage of their expertise?  Actually I am quite open to learning from others as long as I am not forced to ask.  It is amazing what you can pick up if you pay attention.  I was stuck in the mountains with a copper pipe that had burst.  I had never done copper pipes but I had watched my brother do it.  That, and a few trips down the mountain to buy things, was enough to do the job.

We need to understand that other people are watching us.  As I watch my daughter and her mothering skills I realize that much of what I am seeing she learned from her mother. 

So?  What do people learn about marriage, parenting, citizenship and a plethora of other qualities when they watch us?  Have a exemplary day.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Higher Standard

(Pro 11:10 KJV) When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

Is this verse a judgement or a prophecy?  In other words, is this describing how society should be, and isn’t, or is it trying to tell us how our neighbors will react.  In my present thinking I am thinking it is a yardstick and we are coming in at one inch.  Take a look at approval rating for presidents.  It doesn’t really matter who is in office.  You can count on a certain percentage of the population that will always back their party no matter what they here. 

We would do well to look beyond the surface reports and deeper into what makes things right and wrong.  Keep in mind that when God talks about righteousness He is talking about the topics covered in the Ten Commandments not in the Kyoto Accord.  Of course, if you have read Genesis in regard to being stewards of the environment, you don’t trash nature.  If you have read Proverbs about taking care of your ox then you don’t abuse animals.

So?  Again I remind you, and me, that we live by a different standard than those who are in power today.  You may never be a city and never live on a hill but you can still be a shining example. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

A Mouth of Justice

(Pro 10:11 KJV) The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

The key word here is not “mouth” (6310), but “righteous” (6662).  Our understanding of what it means to be righteous can get us off on the wrong foot.  Too often we equate righteousness with following a set of rules.  There is nothing wrong with the rules.  After all, God is the one who gave us the Ten Commandments.  Jesus said He did not come to do away with the law.  Righteousness does not begin or end with a moral code.  But it certainly includes it.

The meaning of “righteous” (6662) that we often miss is the idea of justice.  As our culture does with so many good ideas, this one has been corrupted.  Justice does not have adjectives like “social”.  Those concepts are political tools to manipulate people and make the law a gimmick that has a different meaning for the in group than it does for the out group.  Biblical justice is based on the unchanging nature of God.  Justice is rooted in the standards He laid down, not in the position that will gain the most power for the group running things.

So?  When we speak we must speak in accord with God.  That is why we cannot lie.  That is why we cannot cheat.  We are to be different, as painful as that can be. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Watering the Potato Chips

(Pro 9:5 KJV) Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

Keep in mind I am not speaking from experience when I deal with “wine (3196).  It seems to me that there are two ways in which wine is “mixed” (4537).  The way I think it refers to here is to mix it with water.  From my reading of fiction I get the impression that wine was diluted with water to varying degrees.  For dinner with the family you would put in a lot of water.  If you had someone you were trying to get drunk you might put in very little.  Different wines would bear different amounts of thinning. 

One of the issues of wisdom is that it knows how to practice moderation and abstinence.  It knows when to limit and when to deny.  I know that moderation is the hard level to achieve.  I can do without junk food but I have a real hard time eating just a little.  That is one reason why I try to never by a box of Cheese-its.  The box is generally empty when I am stop.

So?  Wisdom calls us to know when to stop.  If we can’t figure where that is I guess you should join me in avoiding potato chips. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Divine Right of Kings

(Proverbs 8:16 KJV)  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

This is a difficult passage for modern Americans.  The Bible teaches that governments are instituted by God.  We look at the historical boogie men, Hitler and Attila, and claim that we are free and can pick our own leaders.  We react to things like the divine right of kings.  Unfortunately the Bible seems to endorse them.  It forces us toward accepting the concept of providence and the truth that God knows more than we do.  We don’t like that.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that people of faith did not riot in the streets when Bill Clinton or Barak Obama were elected just because they did not agree with their stands on issues.  Going back further, many considered FDR to be the anti-Christ.  It did not start a revolution.  Compare that with the response of our pagan culture to the election of Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump.

So?  It is dangerous living in the land of liberty.  Just like materialism sucks us into depending on our wealth, so liberty makes us think that we deserve.  We need to be thankful and walk with care in our culture. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Weep or Obey

(Proverbs 7:1 KJV)  My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

In our enlightened times we tend to regard the “commandments” (4687) of God as if they are suggestions.  Our culture likes to think that they are sophisticated that they can play with fire and, because of their wise fingers, they will not get burnt.  Old fashioned morals are for cave men, not us as an advanced species.  It is tragic that we are wrong.  We are fooling noone, even ourselves.

Generally God does not make recommendations or suggestions.  He either speaks without confusion or He remains silent.  Often we claim he is remaining silent when it is just that we are not listening.  We see our churches redefining marriage and rationalizing abortion because that is what they want God to say.  Church attenders toy with the occult and embrace materialism.

So?  Don’t let the world fool you.  Quit trying to fool yourself.  Either read and weep, or read and obey. 

Monday, May 6, 2019


(Proverbs 6:20 KJV)  My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

I may be looking for loopholes here but I think there is something that is understood but not stated.  I believe it is assumed that the parents described here are people who are following the laws of God and are teaching what is found in the word. 

There is a danger in loopholes.  Too often we are looking for excuses to not do what we know is right.  To often we are trying to make ourselves special cases.  Our motives for obedience or rebellion can turn everything topsy turvy.   The world is full of people who reject the God of the Bible but they still teach that murder is wrong. 

So?  Pay attention to the teaching of your parents but pay even more attention to the written word of God as a verification of what they have to say.  That is a principle that applies to what you hear in school and from the pulpit also.  You can never turn your thinking off. 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Beyond the Fun

(Proverbs 5:12 KJV)  And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

It is a challenge to remain a learner and be open to ideas and standards that we may not find easy.  One of the simple truths that does not apply to all cases is that we learn better when we are having fun.  Like all simple truths that does not apply beyond the basic things that give immediate gratification.  While it may be fun to learn cuss words in Spanish it won’t help you when you need to discuss how to repair a broken air conditioner.  Children learn to speak as their parents speak.  That comes naturally.  If they are from a poor family then they will probably need to exert a bit more effort into speaking at a higher level.  Eventually learning discovers resistance and that is where the real learning takes place. 

So?  The Ten Commandments are basic and black and white.  How to apply them in a world of grey’s is a bit more problematic.  Throw in color and you are in a different world.  It can be done but requires focus. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Froward Again

(Proverbs 4:24 KJV)  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

As I wrote yesterday I focused on the KJV choice of the English “froward” (3868) and how it seemed to imply bending away from the path.  Here we have a different word, translated the same by the KJV, that the NASB has as “deceitful” (6143).  Here the idea is crookedness rather than just bending away.  At the heart you have the same idea of not being straight. 

One of the great, recurring themes of the Bible is that lies condemn a person.  Many words are used but the idea is the same.  Here are the words of Jesus,
(Revelation 21:8 KJV)  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
So?  One of the reasons I pay more attention to people who embrace traditional values is that these people understand lying is wrong.  Those who also embrace the Christian faith know that lies can send you to hell.  Christians cannot embrace the values and standards of our modern culture.  It is a dangerous road. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Watch Out for the Curve

(Proverbs 3:32 KJV)  For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

Sometimes the vocabulary of the KJV catches my attention.  Here we see the word “froward” which the NASB translates “crooked” (3868).  There are a number of Hebrew words that are translated “froward” and they all are negative.  The nuance in this word is the idea of curving away from the target.  One source of the English word contrasted “froward” with “toward”.  Thus is would be a kind of counter-repentance. 

When we repent we turn away from sin.  That is part of the deal.  Coming to Jesus is not just a matter of confession and faith.  It also involves turning away from the evil in our lives.  The froward does just the opposite, turning away from God. Thus we don’t drift into sin.  We don’t backslide.  We deliberately change course and begin to turn.

So?  If you want to walk with Jesus then keep on target.  God can be patient with our constant course corrections but not when they are directed toward our old life.  Forward, not froward. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Catechism Time

(Proverbs 2:10 KJV)  When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

When our hearts are right with God, His “knowledge” (1847) is “pleasant” (5276) to us.  There are consequences to how we stand before Him.  We read about His wrath and vengeance.  We joke about lightning striking us.  Some people practice the Christian equivalent of knocking on wood when they say something they shouldn’t.  But when we are honestly seeking Him we are met in wonderful ways.

So?  The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”  Even if you don’t come from the Reform tradition you can understand that. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

God Is a Negative Square Root

(Proverbs 1:26 KJV)  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

It is very hard for us as humans to come close to understanding God.  Just making a list of the “omni’s” should give us a clue:  Omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent....  We can say the words and on a good day I can even spell them but they simply point out how far beyond our comprehension God is. 

That’s okay.  You don’t need to understand something for it to have meaning.  All you need to do is get into high school mathematics.  I recently talked about infinity as being incomprehensible to the human mind.  How about the square root of a negative number?  Such a thing cannot exist but it is routine in some math computations. 

Here we have the God that we like to keep in our little box tell us that He will laugh at us when we try to play games with our sin.  What happened to “gentle Jesus, meek and mild”?  To paraphrase from Princess Bride, “I am not sure you know the meaning of those words.”

So?  Don’t let go of the words we can understand:  Repent, forgive, confess, trust, obey....  They will help us deal with things that are beyond our ken:  Grace, regeneration and God Himself.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Possible and the Necessary

(Proverbs 30:3 KJV)  I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.

This is a reminder that we need to be honest and take a position of humility.  Yes, we may demonstrate some “wisdom” (2451) and we do come to be known by God.  Having said that we need to keep in mind that wisdom is more an action than a collection.  There is always the chance of missing the mark.  As for knowing God, He is infinite.  He can know us but we will always be searching the riches of His being.  Go back to your math.  Two times infinity is still infinity.  Infinity minus one is still infinity.  It is a totally nonsense concept for our human minds but in math and theology it makes perfect sense.

So?  Growth will always be possible.  Humility will always be necessary. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Eyes and Ears for All

(Proverbs 29:13 KJV)  The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.

I think this is an Old Testament approach to the concept that “all men are created equal”.  It tells me that there is no real excuse for the decisions we make based on our socio-economic status.  The Holy Spirit is speaking to hearts at all levels and in all conditions. 

Of course that is a two edged sword.  It not only reminds us that the rich will be held accountable but also that the poor will face a moment of truth.  There is no escape.  Other places in Proverbs it reminds us that God can see our hearts so just saying, “I didn’t know” won’t excuse us.

So?  Whether you would consider yourself part of the elite or the oppressed, learn to listen.  God is trying to reach us either with a call to repentance or a word of encouragement. 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Slow Blessings

(Proverbs 28:20 KJV)  A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

When we think of Christian character there is a word that keeps coming up.  Here the word referring to that character is “faithful” (530) and the quality associated with it is patience.  Two key places we see this are the gifts of the Spirit,
(Galatians 5:22 KJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
and the description of love,
(1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
For those not familiar with the KJV, “longsuffering” is one of its translations of suffering.

So?  Here the context is gaining wealth but the principle applies to every area of life.  God has his timing for our finances, our marrying, our child bearing and even our new car.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Forecast Is More Wind

(Proverbs 27:3 KJV)  A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Recently as I experiment with an I-Pad ap called Pandora I have come across a scattering of recording artists who have done “Blowing in the Wind”.  I have always enjoyed the music as long as I don’t pay too much attention to the words.  It is a cute anti-war song.  I am against war.  Any sane person is against war.  That is not my focus today.  What came to my mind in relation to this verse were the concluding words to each verse, “When will they ever learn?”

One of the sad truths about life is that most people will never learn.  That is the reason that all of the government sponsored gambling schemes keep raising millions.  It is why tele-marketers keep coming back.  It is why some products are still being sold in the dollar stores.  It is the inspiration for that quote “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and expecting different results.”  People do not learn.

So?  Life will be full of heavy things and foolish people.  We need to keep calling on God to get through all of the headwinds we run into.  That is why the apostle Paul tells us,
(1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Dunkirk into D-Day

(Proverbs 26:28 KJV)  A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

One of the hardest things for humans to do is look at things from God’s perspective.  In one sense it is obviously impossible.  He is an infinite God.  We are limited humans beings.  What I struggle with is a seeming mind block that insists that everything must be defined and described in my terms.  That is one of the points we can take from this today.  While the dangers being described in this verse could come quickly, the greatest threat is eternal.

It may seem that deceitful people win a lot of battles.  That is because they do.  The thing we need to remember is that they lose all the wars.  I don’t like the delayed gratification but it is still the way it is.  Some of that is God trying to give them a chance to repent.  Some is to give us a chance to repent.  Some is to help us mature and grow. 

So?  We need to keep remembering that we have read the book and we know who wins.  If we can wrap our minds around that it will change the way we face the day. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Beware of the Nose

(Proverbs 25:28 KJV)  He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

There was a time when any serious gathering of citizens living together would have some kind of “walls” (2346).  Usually walls would not defeated a determined enemy with a large army.  The walls would just slow him down.  In small towns and villages the walls might be nothing more than a wooden fence.  Picture the TV version of a fort in the west.  The purpose was more to keep out the roving band or hasty bandits than to keep out artillery and scaling ladders. 

That is one of the purposes of personal discipline.  Any of us can be worn down by the determined onslaught of an enemy, be it the devil or our local building inspector.  Discipline is what shields us from the quick raid that is looking for a foothold in our lives.  Thus a conviction involving chastity will shield us from an office worker on the prowl but will do nothing against rape.  Honesty will keep us from taking the money left on a desk but might give in to years of poverty.

So?  We need to daily recommit ourselves to certain standards and disciplines so that the nose of Satan can’t get under the edge of our tent.  The best defenses are deep stakes and a stomping boot. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Let God Do It

(Proverbs 24:29 KJV)  Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

This is another approach to turning the other cheek or I guess you could say the words of Jesus are another because they came later.  What is added here is an insight into why we are not to seek revenge.  Vengeance is in the sphere of God’s activities.  When we take it on we are usurping the role of God and we are not to do that.

There are actions and attitude that are acceptable for God and reserved for His prerogative.  We access them at our peril.  Want another example?  Yahweh is a jealous God.
(Deuteronomy 4:24 KJV)  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Yet jealousy is not a character trait that we are allowed to have. 
(1 Corinthians 13:4 NAS77)  Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
For “jealous” the KJV has “envieth not”.  I assume the reason is that God’s motives are pure and holy while ours are tainted. 

So?  Be really careful not to try to take over God’s role.  It is easy to do and a constant temptation.  When you read something in the Bible that calls for change it is likely that the change is to be in you, not in someone you think needs to get their act together.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Rolex Response

(Proverbs 23:3 KJV)  Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

You have heard that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  I would assume that the same thing could be said about “dainties” (delicacies NASB) (4303).  To be honest I don’t have a lot of trouble resisting the call of escargot.  I tried it once out of curiosity.  It was not disgusting.  It was also not as good as taco flavored Doritoes.  Naturally that is only my coarse, Philistine opinion.  I have never even been tempted with caviar or oysters on the half shell. 

So what is the real danger here?  It is conforming to the values and expectations of the trend setting class.  Why do people want a Rolex watch?  It is because it tells time more accurately?  Maybe it does, but not any better than my Timex for my uses.  People want a Rolex so people will ask, “Is that a Rolex?”  The Rolex mentality exists no matter what the value of the fixation.  I remember in middle school being asked, “Is that a Pro Club?”  You might have no idea what that is.  You might not know the difference between a Pro Club and a Shaka.  It was a big deal in middle school.

So?  Our priorities and values are to be set by our God and not by our contemporaries.  It is a constant temptation to look at your neighbor’s riding lawn mower and feel like you are less of a person because you don’t have one.  Beware of the Rolex Response.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Do You Really Want to Be a Nathan?

(Proverbs 22:11 KJV)  He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

I think most political leaders would focus on the second part of this description.  I am sure that David wishes the prophet Nathan had been a little more “gracious” (2580) when bringing up the king’s infidelity.  I think it is one reason Billy Graham was able to get along with so many different presidents.  If Graham ever approached a president about sensitive issues he must have done it with great gentleness and tact.  That is why the doors always seemed to be open to him.

There are times when we must stand up and be counted.  Those come on occasion.  An every day event is being more gentle in our approach.  The danger we fall into is in not being heard because we are too gentle.  I am not sure if that is our problem or people refusing to listen is the issue. 

So?  Make sure that being a strident voice is not a matter of ego.  People often reject the truth and usually reject it when it is wrapped in self-righteousness.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Prudent Thinkers

(Proverbs 21:12 KJV)  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

We are surrounded by evil role models.  At first glance they may not seem that way but often that is because we do not want to see it.  After all, these “wicked” (7563) people are our friends and often family.  We need to understand that anyone who is not serving the Lord is serving Satan.  It doesn’t matter how nice they seem.

So it is important to understand what it means to “consider” (7919a) the people around us.  The basic meaning of the word is to be prudent but it has no one overwhelming translation.  I usually think of prudence in regard to behavior.  Here it is talking about our thinking.  We need to be prudent thinkers.  The two most common translations in the KJV are “wise” and “understanding”.  Perhaps a good word would be discerning.

So?  We are told we must live in the world.  That means we need to be alert and aware.  Pray that God would open our eyes and our minds. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Bursting Bubbles

(Proverbs 20:18 KJV)  Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
One of the reasons we don’t seek advice from people wiser than ourselves is experience.  We have learned the hard way that wise people will not tell us what we want to hear.  How many of us would ask someone who understood finance if we should buy the fancy sports car when we either had no job or were working for minimum wage?  We don’t want to hear it.  I remember the last housing bubble.  People all across the country ended up losing their homes.  What is not usually pointed out is that they should not have bought the house in the first place.  Two people do not need 4,000 square feet in a gated community.

We don’t want to hear it.  We need to hear it. 

So?  Start with scripture if you can’t get anyone to listen.  In this chapter alone Solomon talks about alcohol, work, borrowing, cheating in business, and gossip.  Those are just the topics I was willing to hear.  If that isn’t enough then ask your mom. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Keep, Not Get

(Proverbs 19:16 KJV)  He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.

As we look at this verse and wonder how it relates to being saved by grace we need to think about something.  You can’t “keep” (8104) something you don’t have.  This is not a warning to obey the law if we want to get saved.  It is a reminder that obedience is not an option and it is necessary if we want to stay saved.  You may not like that but I can’t help it if you like instant grits. 

I still believe that no one will go to hell who does not reject heaven.  For someone who is determined to be lord of their own life an eternity with the real Lord would be utter misery.  I think there will be masses who will stand before the judgement seat of God and still be defiant. 

So?  Grace is extended.  Forgiveness is offered.  The blessings of eternity are available to those who are willing to enter in.  Or not. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Long Laces

(Proverbs 18:9 KJV)  He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Have you ever had your shoes come untied when you are in the middle of something?  I had one pair that would always start trailing strings when I was walking on very cold mornings.  Then I would be forced to take off my gloves to tighten them up again.  I kept wondering why it was just this pair of shoes.  I finally figured out that the laces on these modern styles were so long that they would either drag on the ground when tied or flop around enough to gradually work the knot loose.  I cut off a few inches and rarely had trouble afterwards.

There are areas in our life that are like that.  We need to keep checking them and redoing them and the reason is that we have too much unnecessary foo-fa pulling on them.  We need to get rid of what the NASB calls “slack” (7503) and in this one place the KJV calls “slothful”.

So?  Keep your laces snug.  It will make a lot less stumbling in life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Virtue View

(Proverbs 17:23 KJV)  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

I tend to think of a “bribe” (7810) as a bit of sleazy perversion that is used to attract the unscrupulous.  This might imply that it is given out of the “bosom” (2436), or secret place, in order to bring about what is viewed by both parties as a good result.  There is a temptation to think that our view of a situation is the view of virtue and in this one case the ends justifies the means.  Have you ever been checking out at the store and the clerk somehow enters a lower price than you expected?  It is very easy to rationalize that they put in a higher price another time and so it is only fair.  It might even be true but it is the beginning of making excuses and fudging on the strait and narrow.

We usually don’t have the temptation to “pervert” (5186) “justice” (4941) is big steps.  Satan has a hard time getting us to commit the big sin.  It starts small and grows from there. 

So?  Keep an eye out for the little compromises that are offered to us.  Some may be just fine.  Others may be a bribe from Hell. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Scale of Eternity

(Proverbs 16:11 KJV)  A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work.

You may have a different dream but I don’t see myself ever selling produce or running a business weighing recycled aluminum.  The ideas here about honest scales would seem to apply to someone else.  Not so.  The principle is the issue.  There are many ways in which I can cheat without going near weights and measures. 

How do I determine whether I am justified in returning a product I have bought?  Have you ever been tempted to purchase an expensive item, use it the one time you need, and then return it for a full refund?  I hear there are some women who do this with dresses.  I can picture doing it when I need a specialty tool.  What is happening is that the consumer is taking advantage of a retailer who is trying to be fair with his customers.  What we don’t like to admit is that this kind of misrepresentation is a form of lying .  I hope you understand how angry God gets when we lie.

So?  Business ethics are also the responsibility of the customer.  It is a matter of eternal significance.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Only the Righteous

(Proverbs 15:6 KJV)  In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

You may be familiar with the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s ‘treasure’ (2633)”.  In NASB terms that would be “One man’s waste is another man’s ‘wealth’ (2633)”.  If you have ever gone to a yard sale you know the feeling.  What one person is getting rid of another just has to have.  This kind of attitude is why I could never work on a garbage truck.  I would bring home so much cool stuff that it would be grounds for divorce.

The key point here is that God blesses the “righteous” (6662).  That may or may not involve what the world calls wealth but whatever your equity, He brings a rich life.

So?  While it may be better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable it is best to be blessed in whatever socio-economic group you find yourself.  Roy Orbison recorded a song called “Only the Lonely”.  Ours might be “Only the Righteous. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Full Quiver

(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.

I often point out basic differences between what the Bible teaches and what our culture endorses.  One of those differences has to do with population, size of families and children.  The pagan culture of our day is worried about the planet because Gaia, the earth goddess, is at the center of their worship.  To them the job is to preserve the planet by subduing humanity.  They forget that if they have their way the comfortable life style that they enjoy will be gone.  It will be back to starvation, the mercy of the elements and living in caves.

The repeated emphasis of the Bible is that God wants people to have children and they are to be stewards of the earth.  They are not to exploit but to subdue and manage.  You see it in God’s words to Adam,
(Genesis 1:28 KJV)  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
You see it in the Psalms,
(Psalms 127:3-5 KJV)  Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
So?  Do a lot of praying about your ideas of family planning.  Children are a blessing, not a curse. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mouth Meal

(Proverbs 13:2 KJV)  A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

What is wrong with simple literal translations?  The KJV has it in “eats” (398) while the NASB confuses it with “enjoys”.  I think of many ways this picture is used.  When an athlete gets buried by the competition we talk about how he “ate it”.  We know what it means to “eat our words”.  That is probably the idea here.

How is the meal when you have to eat your words?  If we have been positive and honest then the taste can be quite pleasant.  If we have been critical and stretching things a bit they can come back to bite us. 

So?  If you are going to “eat it” keep in mind that you have a say in what the main course involves. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

More Than a Nod

(Proverbs 12:25 KJV)  Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

How many chances did I miss yesterday to give a “good” (2896a) “word” (1697)?  A good question.  I look back and try to think of people I spoke to outside my family.  I remember a mother in the grocery store whose boy was acting like a boy.  I didn’t say anything but my smile and nod let her know I figured it would work out.  I remember the clerk at checkout.  I like to answer the “How are you” question in ways that generate conversation.  I can think of a few more, mainly clerks in stores. 

I can’t think of any real complements I gave or encouraging words.  How much does it take to tell someone “good job” when they do a good job?  Evidently more than I had.

So?  Today I want to make the world a better place for people living in it with me. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Two Neighbors

(Proverbs 11:9 KJV)  An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

What happens when you are the righteous “neighbor” (7453) to a “hypocrite” (godless man NASB) (2611)?  I don’t think this means that we will never be inconvenienced.  Keep in mind that if you are going to be “delivered” (2502a) there needs to be some real problem.  We are told by Jesus that we are blessed when we are persecuted for His sake.  Count it a blessing but keep in mind that the story isn’t over until the last chapter and we have a promise for that.

If you are the godless next to the righteous then you may have nothing but frustration ahead of you.

So?  Make sure you are the right kind of neighbor. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Wink of Sin

(Proverbs 10:10 KJV)  He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

Adam Clarke’s discussion of this verse brings to mind people in places of authority who “wink” (7169) at certain types of crime.  We see it when the authorities do nothing to enforce laws against marijuana or prostitution.  For those on the other side we see it currently in sheriffs who are saying they will not enforce new gun control laws.  This is rebellion against due process and the rule of law. 

Some might think that the grace of God that is extended in forgiveness to us is a kind of winking at sin, after all, it is washed away.  Not so.  God follows the due process that He set up. 
(Romans 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God’s system of justice says that sin must be paid for by death.  Does He violate that by forgiving us?  No.  The sin was paid for by sacrifice.  In the Old Testament times the Jews had the temple system of sacrifice.  At the cross the ultimate sacrifice was offered up in the person of Jesus.  The price was paid.

So?  The question for us is how we respond.  God didn’t wink.  Neither can we. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Starting Line

(Proverbs 9:4 KJV)  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Is this a universal call?  It seems to be selective.  Does it assume that some are not “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a) just as there are some who understand?  I would think that there would be some who have been studying what God has to say that might not need to tune in to this session.  It makes me think of attending a training session with a bunch of teachers and the leader picked up an object and said, “This is a mouse.”  When I looked around I realized there were teachers present that did not know that.

There is a place for Wisdom 101.  There are basics that need to be taught.  Only you can decide if that is where you are.  We need to start there but are expected to keep moving forward.  As Paul said,
(1 Corinthians 3:2 KJV)  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
So?  Start where you are.  No problem there as long as you don’t stop where you are. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Civics Lessons

(Proverbs 8:15 KJV)  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

I am currently questioning my relationship to the governing authorities.  I understand that pure democracy does not work.  The Founding Fathers knew that and as a result gave us a republic instead.  They rejected the idea of monarchy and a noble class.  I was brought up to think that way.  Yet here we have all of those things being endorsed.

Why is it that our form of government is not taught in the Bible?  Why do we find kings and nobles mentioned instead of city counsels and a national legislature?  Even if we say that the ancient Hebrews would not know about those things, God did.  And by the time you get to the New Testament you have the democracies of Greece and the two houses of legislature in the Roman Republic.

I continue to wonder. 

So?  Our happiness does not depend on the form of government.  As much as I believe they are inspired, it does not even depend on the Bill of Rights.  It does depend our the Blood of Jesus. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sheol Street

(Proverbs 7:27 KJV)  Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

We used to sing a chorus that had the phrase “highway to heaven”.  The NASB has a phrase that I have always like, “Highway of Holiness”. 
(Isaiah 35:8 NAS77)  And a highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it.
In this verse we are warned about Sheol Street.  If we look at the KJV we could come up with “highway to Hell”. 

Sheol Street is in the wrong part of town.  It may be in the ritzy part.  It may be rural.  The point is that rebellion and sin are the guiding principles.

So?  Just as you can decide what route you take on a vacation, you decide which way your day goes.  Check the Map and plan accordingly. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Context of Hate

(Proverbs 6:19 KJV)  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Read in isolation this verse is an incomplete sentence that makes little sense.  I think that is how most people prefer to read it.  You need to look back a few verses to see the context.
(Proverbs 6:16 KJV)  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
We live in a time when such things as “fake news” and “spin” are pretty much accepted by both sides of the aisle.  It is considered just the way business is done.  To be honest, dishonesty has always been with us and will always be with us.  So, what is there to get excited about?

God hates liars.  We may be able to pretty it up and call it “misspeaking”, but no matter how pretty it is, God hates it.

So?  Obviously we should not tell lies.  At least it is obvious to me.  If I am all alone, so be it.  On this one I am on God’s side. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Possible if Not Easy

(Proverbs 5:11 KJV)  And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

I don’t want this verse inscribed on my gravestone.  I don’t want it as an obituary.  Do you know people that are like this?  It is one reason I start each day with a time of thanksgiving.  It does not take much reflection to call to mind all the blessings that not only populate my past but fill my present.  As I write it is below freezing outside but I am toasty and warm.  It isn’t because I spent hours yesterday chopping wood. 

The warning is for those who refuse to listen and respond.

So?  Listen and respond.  That seems rather easy but I have noticed it is always easy for one person to tell another what is easy.  Let’s just say it is definitely possible. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Programming the Autopilot

(Proverbs 4:23 KJV)  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

We are to guard our “heart” (3820).  There is a core to our being that sets the tone for our thinking, our speech, our actions.  We are to spend time grooming it and conditioning it.  We live in an age that lifts up emotions and how we feel above facts and logical thought.  While it is our inner man that determines our direction we need to be aware that we can mold that part of our being.

Actually it is God who does the molding.  Sometimes He moves against our intention.  Much of the time He expects us to get into training.  That is why so much of Proverbs and other scripture emphasize study and preparation.  We are told to take certain actions and avoid others.  There is a conditioning that goes on all the time.

So?  We don’t run on autopilot, at least not for long.  And even the autopilot must be programed. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It Only Looks Good

(Proverbs 3:31 KJV)  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Wanting to be seen as successful in the eyes of our contemporaries can be a fatal trap.  We look around and see that the corrupt politicians and greedy tycoons seem to be doing all the winning and getting all the pie not just the biggest piece.  It is really tempting to start doing things their way.

If you read on down the chapter you find that such decisions turn the Lord against you and ultimately become a curse.

So?  Stay on the path.  Short term victories and gains based on a flawed scale are not really what I want.  I hope you agree. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Gap Thickens

(Proverbs 2:9 KJV)  Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

Here is good news that is frightening to some.  “Righteousness” (6664) exists.  “Judgement” (Justice NASB) (4941) exists.  “Equity” (4339) exists.  There is a “good” (2896a) “path” (course NASB) (4570).  Not only does this tell us we have genuine choices but it also tells us we can know them. 

That is frightening to those who want to fit into our current culture.  Keep in mind that we have government bodies making it acceptable to kill babies after they are born.  They would define that as moral.  At the same time they would say that driving a car is immoral.  The Bible gives us definitions that are different.

So?  We are out of step with popular culture.  We always have been but we have been able to coast for a time.  The vacation is over.  The gap is too wide to straddle any more.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Avoiding Foolishness

(Proverbs 1:25 KJV)  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

What a great verse for April Fools’ Day.  This is found in the midst of one of the most brutal passages in the Bible, one that is ignored by just about everyone with the gift of mercy.  The context is God explaining why death bed conversions are not always a great idea.  If they are genuine, all is well.  If they are the guy who has decided to wait until the last minute so he can enjoy his life of sin, you lose.

God is in the business of redemption.  I would not go so far to say that is all He is going, after all, He is God and is beyond my comprehension.  But keep in mind that is why Jesus came to earth, suffered and died and was resurrected.  The point here is that some people make a business of ignoring all the clues.

So?  I trust that I will not fall into this trap of being smug in my walk.  I hope I keep listening and getting the benefit of His excellent counsel. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Two Choices

(Proverbs 31:3 KJV)  Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

When you read this verse out of context it would be easy to look at this as a warning against revolution or rebellion.  We seemed to be warned not to destroy our political leaders.  When you read it in context you see that the author is one of the “kings” (4428) and the advice comes from his mother.  So what are we being warned about?

I would suggest, at least today, that this is a warning against self-destructive behavior.  In this context the specific warnings seem to be about whom you marry and what you drink.  Marriage is understood as a one time choice.  Drinking is something that faces us every day.  Either one can determine the direction of our life.  Of course our important decisions cover more ground that this.  The concern is the same.

So?  It would really help if we could develop a long term approach to decisions.  A friend of my wife once said that she should decide on the basis of what she would feel good about in ten years.  Wisdom is necessary on a regular basis. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Brute Humility

(Proverbs 30:2 KJV)  Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.

As true as this statement might be as a statement of humility, it cannot be literally true.  Anyone that lacking in mental worth would not be able to write the sentence.  I would call it an example of hyperbole.  For those not paying attention in junior high that is a literary devise of exaggeration to make a point. 

Humility is important in life.  It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously.  At times I get stressed because I have not changed the world.  When I was young and excited I thought God had called me to make a big difference.  He has kept reminding me that He is quite capable of running the universe without my fine qualities.  That is why we have verses like Micah 6:8,
(Micah 6:8 KJV)  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
So?  I know I have referred to this verse frequently but not as frequently as I need to be reminded of it.  Compared to God our greatest scholar is not even ready to organize the card catalog.  I am far from the greatest scholar.  The miracle is that He still has a place for me in eternity.  Rejoice.  He has a place for you too.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Under Oath

(Proverbs 29:12 KJV)  If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

What kind of things would you put in the category of “lies” (falsehood NASB) (8267)?  It is a word used twenty times in Proverbs.  Obviously God is concerned about it.  Some people would consider it a problem only when testifying under oath.  Have you ever had someone lie to you and then say they had their fingers crossed?  The world, and its legal system, seem to think it is okay to lie as long as you have not cast a spell on your words.  God is not so light hearted.

One of the categories of fake that we often overlook are reference books.  How often do our children read text books that are written to deceive and brainwash?  How often do we read things we agree with and not consider if it is true or not?  We usually assume that if it agrees with us it must be true.  God’s expectations are not so low.

So?  We must diligently seek truth.  We must make sure that we do not repeat false information.  We need to remember that we represent a holy God who has no falsehood in Him.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Phoney Fixations

(Proverbs 28:19 KJV)  He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.

The key word in this verse is “vain” (empty NASB) (7386).  Don’t get distracted by the fact that you are not a farmer or smug if you are.  This is not the basis for Thomas Jefferson wanting a nation of yeoman farmers.  Also don’t get hung up on “poverty” (7389).  The key concern is how we tend to spend our time on trivial gratifications. 

Think about all the time people spend on social media today.  I obviously blog and I use e-mail.  I have a smart phone but I try to keep it as dumb as possible.  There is a certain amount of modern technology that can add to the richness of life.  It is awesome to Skype with my daughter and see my granddaughter try to touch my nose on the screen.  The problem is when it consumes us.  I recently was forced to visit a major shopping mall on a Saturday.  It is amazing to see how many people go through their day with their nose on a smart phone.  I don’t think they are reading their bibles.

So?  Don’t let gadgets or social conventions steal your life.  I accept that is easy to say and hard to do. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Praise Team

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

“Praise” (1984b) has its place but there are cautions involved.  One that is not mentioned here is to not let praise go to your head.  How we respond to praise is important.  A false modesty can be like an insult to the person talking about you but genuine humility can accept the fact that you did a good job without being ruined by the admission.

The caution here is that we are not to do the praising ourselves.  I think that part of that is not fishing for complements. 

So?  Keep in mind that to be humble you need something to be humble about.  Work on that. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Who Dug This Hole?

(Proverbs 26:27 KJV)  Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

Our contemporary culture has made an art form of being a victim.  Everyone seems to assume that our problems are caused by someone else and we are innocent.  The traditional factors that mold people are environment and heredity.  You could do nothing about the first at the beginning of life and nothing about the second.  That way of looking at our lives is based on a secular humanist view that believes in evolution and no God.

There are two other factors that the pagans in and out of the church don’t acknowledge.  They are God and personal choices.  God has reached out to us in the person of Jesus Christ.  He offers not only eternal salvation but temporal transformation based on His grace and the power of the Holy
Spirit.  It is available to everyone.  That leaves our personal choices.

Just about everyone admits to both heredity and environment.  We disagree on the ratios of each and personal responsibility.  The Bible tells us the God has done the heavy lifting but we are still expected to respond.

So?  Rejoice.  It does not matter what your situation is, there is hope. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Honey Is Just a Fringe Benefit

(Proverbs 25:27 KJV)  It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

This is about balance and self control, or self control and balance.  Take your pick.  Choose your priority.  The choice is not an elimination.  It is a matter of order that includes both.  Do you eat your vegetables first or your meat?  We always confused people because my family would save the salad for the last course of the meal.

As Americans we do not like either virtue.  As Christians we need to be less American.  Yes, I know that much of traditional American values are rooted in the Bible but keep in mind that a lot of cultural developments and outright carnal desires have been grafted into the root. 

So?  How do we get oranges from the tree of our life instead of lemons or grapefruit?  It starts in knowing what the root is and that comes from keeping in contact with Jesus through reading the word, meditating on its meaning and applying it.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Not a Debate

(Proverbs 24:28 KJV)  Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

The key point here is be honest.  If we are looking to make excuses for ourselves we can focus on the meaning of “witness” (5707) or whom our “neighbor” (7453) is, but that should be saved for the college debate teams who are looking to win on points.  We, as believers, are not winning on points but on righteousness.

So?  Our goal is not a matter of getting away with something.  The issue is not will we get caught.  We are to be upright, straight, righteous.  God gives the standard and the Holy Spirit to empower.  Don’t settle for less. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Good Habit

(Proverbs 23:2 KJV)  And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

I have wanted to develop this habit.  There are certain people that are always trying to con me into something.  One way involves food.  That works for me because I am at best a borderline glutton.  I keep thinking that because someone has baked a cake or ordered something lavish at a restaurant I am on their good side.  It is not to be.

My goal is to identify those people and find some symbolic way to remind myself that I am not to be at ease.  At a meal it might be to literally pick up a knife and casually tap myself on the throat.  At a party maybe I could find a door and tap it with my head. 

So?  Just as all that glitters is not gold, neither is all that smiles a friend. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Gift of Scoffing

(Proverbs 22:10 KJV)  Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

What is the difference between a “scorner” (scoffer NASB) (3917b) and a person who is exercising the gift of discernment?  I believe there is a genuine conflict between the two even if the words might be identical at times.  They might even be impossible to tell apart because they often point out real problems that need to be dealt with.

I can think of two differences right out of the box.  First is attitude.  There is an arrogance in a scoffer that is based on a sense of superiority.  There is a joy in putting other people down.  You can see this in the use of humor.  Good friends can make what sound like insulting remarks and everyone thinks it is funny.  If a person on the street said the same thing there would be angry response.  The exhorter who is reproving or rebuking has a whole different attitude.  They are not speaking from superiority but from an awareness of their own failure. 

Second is the goal.  Scoffers tend to glory in division and attention to themselves.  Exhorters don’t want any glory and seek to improve the individual and the body of Christ.  Neither is satisfied with no response but want different outcomes. 

So?  Learn the difference.  One of the clues to wisdom is an ability to accept correction and a reluctance to give it. 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Manual or Automatic

(Proverbs 21:11 KJV)  When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

How much does a good education cost?  That depends on what you are measuring in learning and payment.  In reality you get what you pay for in time and effort.  Some people are blessed with the ability to learn from observing others.  Some can read a book and get the point.  I tend to be someone who often needs to be knocked on the head in order for the point to be made.

I am not sure I would really be happy with the short method of learning.  I read in fiction about sleep learning or downloading knowledge.  It sounds so good.  Wouldn’t it be great to learn fencing by attaching some electrodes and after a short period of time know all the moves.  The problem is that certain things need the discipline of practice so that the responses come without thinking.

So?  Rejoice.  We can all learn.  Morn.  It will never come automatically. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Then What?

(Proverbs 20:17 KJV)  Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

We need to think more about the “afterward” (310).  Obviously this has an eternal concern but I think Solomon is more focused on the next few moments, days or years.  This is not just a spiritual concern but a principle that seeps into every area of life.  We are so affluent as a culture that we forget that debts must be paid.  We live on credit in our finances.  We live on the principle built up by previous generations.  Our decisions have consequences even if we don’t see them.

As Christians we should always be asking ourselves what the long term results will be to our decisions and actions.  When you have a genuine emergency it is sometimes necessary to charge things you don’t have the money for.  The problem is in those two words “genuine emergency”.  That does not mean a lack of planning.

So?  God is concerned about today and what we face.  He is concerned because He has the big picture.  He wants us to end up at the right conclusion.  We can’t do it if we refuse to consider what comes after.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Politics of Sloth

(Proverbs 19:15 KJV)  Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

How do political positions relate to our faith?  There are many issues which are personal opinion or preference.  I think of taxes on imports and infrastructure renewal.  Others, such as abortion and homosexual marriage are obvious places to combine the two.  Some are more subtle.  Recently a politician suggested that everyone should have a guaranteed income and suggested two groups of people to consider.  One was those who could not work.  That is worth discussing.  The other group was those who do not want to work.  That is being addressed here.

The apostle Paul put it another way.
(2 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV)  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
That is a Biblical and Christian position.

So?  Don’t assume that we should not vote and campaign because it is beneath us.  There are certain positions, such as not encouraging sloth, that are based in our faith.  Apply them. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gossip by Any Other Name...

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

It is interesting the different ways the Hebrew is translated.  Here the NASB has “whisperer” (7279) and the KJV has “talebearer”.  If you look at the other translations on my software I come up with one who says evil, gossip, double tongued and slanderer.  That is quite a selection.  The benefit of looking at all these translations is that we need to be reminded of all the ways we can rationalize our talking about other people.  You can pick one of these or one that you like better.  It is still an activity that God frowns on.  We know it is serious because of how often it is brought up. 

So?  Watch your mouth.  Nothing new here except when we are successful.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Divine Perspective

(Proverbs 17:22 KJV)  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

One of the goals of my morning routine is a “merry” (joyful NASB) (8056) “heart” (3820).  That is one reason I start by focusing on what I have to be thankful for.  It is so easy to get consumed with the pin pricks that distract us.  When you stub your toe it is easy to forget that you live in America and have a wealth of material goods surrounded by more liberty than history could ever imagine.  All you can think about is your sore toe.  In the morning I grab for the divine perspective and remind myself of all my blessings.  I always try to remember my salvation as the ultimate blessing.

So?  Having a good day is usually more a matter of discipline and attitude than perception based on distractions.  I find that if I don’t start in focus I wander in a haze all day. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Christian Nation

(Proverbs 16:10 KJV)  A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

Is America a Christian nation?  In one sense we have been and still kind of are.  We are Christian because we are not Muslim or Hindu.  That does not mean a lot.  Of greater importance are two other key elements.  The one we are not looking at today is the character and belief of the people.  In order to be a Christian nation America would need to have enough spiritual salt to deserve that label.  If we look at the way the general culture is going and how the so-called church has been discarding basic Biblical truth, the label is getting questionable.

The other element is the leadership.  That is what this verse addresses.  Does America have leaders who acknowledge and live by the word of God?  That is even more doubtful.  I believe there are a fair number of mayors, city counsel members, state officers and federal officials who are genuine in their faith and practice.  The problem is that they are few and far between.  It is a blessing of God to have leaders who walk the path of righteousness.  In a republic it is the job of the rank and file to elect those who can serve well.

So?  We have no elections on the near horizon but we do have the process of politics and living going on daily.  We need to stay awake, observe and when the next election comes, be ready to vote as if we wanted a Christian nation. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

A Fool’s Choice

(Proverbs 15:5 KJV)  A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

A “fool” (191) is not “prudent” (6191).  I guess the corollary of that is that a wise man is.  Have you ever prayed for prudence?  I don’t think I have.  It may be like praying for patience.  You don’t want situations where you have to exercise that gift. 

But it should be on our list, maybe close to the top.  Prudence has to do with balance and restraint.  Those are not popular in our personal choices or our cultural priorities.  Prudence makes it impossible to pray, “I want patience, and I want it now.”  Prudence says, “What is the right response (amount, priority, direction)?”  Prudence gets into all the little cracks of life.

So?  We all have many decisions daily.  Use some common sense.  God has given us the guidelines we need but we have to apply them. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Eternal Trigger Warning

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

“Fear” (3374) is one of those words or concepts that reminds us of the vast schism between the Bible and the world.  We tend to get comfortable because we still have a lot of Christian values in our culture.  They are fading but most of us are still immune from the depravity of paganism.  Fear, or awe and reverence, is shunned by the world around us.  We have schools establishing safe spaces and demanding trigger warnings to keep the sheltered souls in their care from feeling any mental or psychological discomfort.  We think the government and its programs can make life rainbows and cotton candy. 

The Bible teaches that a healthy fear is healthy.  The fear that we have of God is balanced.  On one side you have the consuming fire of a holy God.  That can get us to trembling if we are honest.  The God of the Bible should be an eternal trigger warning.  There is no safe space.  On the other side is the God who is love, who sent Jesus to die for our sins and make us part of the family of God.  But in that comfort is the fact that it is an Old Testament, patriarchal family, not a modern open family.

So?  Your comfort is hollow if it is not grounded in both the holiness of God and the love of God.  You are not on an arcade roller coaster.  You are on the Highway of Holiness. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Word of Hope

(Proverbs 13:1 KJV)  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

How about a word of hope for those with young men in their lives.  Don’t give up on a teen ager or a slightly older kid.  Children are not known for their wisdom.  The key is at some magical point in their lives when their mind matures enough to begin to understand the big picture.  When they are 16 you as a parent know nothing.  Ten years later they can be amazed at how much you understood the world.  It happens.  Of course, some times it doesn’t.

Remember that your job is to train and demonstrate the “wise” (2450) lifestyle.  The one who will need to make the decision to embrace it is the child.  You can’t do it for him.

So?  Be an example of the life you want others to live.  You may not have children.  Your children may be out of the home.  Young eyes are still watching. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sleeping with Your Shoes On

(Proverbs 12:24 KJV)  The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

From the context we assume that being “diligent” (2742a) means showing up on time for work and putting in good time.  That is true as far as it goes but it doesn’t go far enough.  It also means paying attention.  If you are on guard duty you may never move from your guard post but you are expected to remain awake and alert during your duty hours.  Guard duty goes beyond that.  If I remember my days in the army correctly there was a group of men selected each night who had guard detail.  We had shifts.  When we were not on active alert we still were expected to sleep in the guard barracks and be ready to go at any time.  That meant sleeping with your shoes on.

It is impossible for us to remain on edge every moment of our life but we can find ways to stay prepared and ready to go.  It is based on an inner commitment to righteousness and the Holy God.  There may be times when the Holy Spirit is the only one awake and watching for the enemy but we are expected to be ready to respond.

So?  We are never off duty.  We are never released from the straight life.  We are never allowed to substitute sin for salvation.  Sleep well.

Monday, March 11, 2019


(Proverbs 11:8 KJV)  The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

Deliverance can take many forms.  It is my belief that God shields us from a bag full of tragedy and we are not even aware of it.  I notice it sometimes when I hesitate briefly at a green light and some clown comes plowing through, running the red.  If I had been quick off the dime I would have been road kill.  Guardian angels don’t get enough credit.  How many times have I been on an airplane of coughing and come off unscathed?  How many times did I have students cough in my face and the germs all died? 

Sometimes we are delivered because it never occurs to us to do evil.  I have never drifted, or charged, into infidelity.  If I think about it I can think of a few times where the offer was there but I didn’t even notice it.  If I wanted to really think about it I might find a lot of situations that would have gone completely different if I had been willing to be “wicked” (7563).

So?  Think of it as built in Scotchguard or some such chemical.  “Trouble” (6869a) beads up instead of soaking in.  Praise God. 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

An Honest Man

(Proverbs 10:9 KJV)  He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

This brings to mind the saying, “You can’t cheat an honest man.”  That does not mean what it literally says.  What it is reminding us of is that we end up being the loser when we think we are the one pulling the fast one.  I have stopped going to pawn shops looking for a great deal.  I have bought two guitars in pawn shops.  I thought I was getting a great deal, not cheating, but a great deal.  It turns out I was paying market.  I didn’t get cheated but the person doing the selling knew exactly what he was doing.

When I hear offers that I can’t refuse, I refuse them.  You hear this stuff on the radio all the time.  Sign up for their free course and you will find out how to get rich in your spare time with no investment.  Right.  My first question is, “If it is so easy and so profitable, why are you wasting your time giving away your secret to the competition?”  The answer of course is that they make their money from people who want to get rich in their spare time with no investment.

So?  Sure, grace is free.  Salvation is a gift.  Living a holy life means living by certain standards.  Consider God an “honest man” who can’t be cheated. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Eye Opener

(Proverbs 9:3 KJV)  She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

History is replete with what are called “mystery religions”.  These are belief systems with hidden knowledge that is only revealed to initiates as they work their way up the ladder of spiritual status.  In the days of Rome you had the gnostics.  Their influence is all through the New Testament as the apostles fought their influence.  The understanding of Christianity in the Koran shows the influence of the gnostic gospels and their influence in the Arabian world. 

Wisdom is not like that.  There may be a lot of things you don’t know but it isn’t because it is hidden from you.  The main reason is because you have not looked or listened.  God has laid it out for you.  I will admit as the secular, anti-Christian culture gains ground that things like Christmas carols are being driven from the public square but the word is still there.

So?  Rejoice that wisdom is available.  Seek it.  Pray that those around you would have their eyes opened.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Asking for Directions

(Proverbs 8:14 KJV)  Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

In the battle of the sexes women often comment on how men are too macho to ask for directions.  We will do anything rather than admit we are lost.  I am not sure that is just a masculine trait but I know it is true in my life.  I would rather read the directions myself than ask someone how to do something.  I would rather get my own map than rely on someone else for directions.  I don’t base my clothes on the weather report as much as looking out the window or sticking my head out the door.  That is not bad.

The point here is that we need to be very careful where we go for help.  We will often have decisions to make and would like some input.  The problem is that we get many different opinions and often each is based more in the prejudices and goals of the advice giver rather than what is objectively right.

So?  It is fine to ask for advice but keep in mind that God has given us the basics in His word.  He has given His Holy Spirit to help us understand what it means.  He has worked a miracle of grace so that we want to know.  Seek Him first.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Who’s Counting

(Proverbs 7:26 KJV)  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

What do you keep a record of?  Do you have anything you count?  Do you have goals?  Realize that you are on someone’s wish list.  They want to see you “cast down” (5307) and they want to be the one doing the casting.  They want you to be one of the “many” (7227a) on their list.

I am keeping track of the golf courses in my area.  I have a vague goal to play on all of them but it is not a compulsion.  For some people bringing you down is a compulsion.  It is how they get their jollies.  It is how they feel their worth. 

That is the bad news.  The good news is that we have God on our side.  He knows their poison and has the antidote. 

So?  There is a reason the old song said “Trust and obey” and not just “trust”.  There is a reason why the Bible reminds us of the glory and power of grace but also that we are expected to obey.  If you don’t take your medication it doesn’t really matter how miraculous the drug is. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Not Feet First

(Proverbs 6:18 KJV)  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

It is sad how often our physical responses reflect what is really going on inside.  We live in a culture that tries to blame all of our troubles on our environment.  Thus we have a society of victims instead of people refusing to accept responsibility for their actions.  It is true that our surroundings have an effect on us.  Look at food.  How many are looking forward to a few honeyed locusts for dessert?  For some in the world that is a rare delicacy.  Americans like their milk.  For many that is disgusting.  Other tastes are built in.  We kept sugar from our first born for a long time.  He did not need to be conditioned to like it.  It was built in.

The condition of our “heart” (3820) has a lot to say which way our “feet” (7272) will “run” (7323).  The condition of our heart does depend on something outside, the grace of God.  The thing is we have a say in whether God’s grace does its work.

So?  Make sure your garden is weeded before you start giving lectures in horticulture. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cosmic Preppers

(Proverbs 5:10 KJV)  Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

While it is true that we are to be storing up treasures for heaven where rust and moths do not destroy there is a simultaneous command to be stewards of our earthly resource.  God is rooted in history and the physical world because He is the molder of one and the creator of the other.  There is a religious spur that is called Deism.  One of the aspects of Deism is that while it admits to a god, he is not involved.  You may have heard of the illustration of making a watch, winding it and leaving it to wind down.  That is the god of Deism.  It is not the God of the Bible.

As I speculate on why God gives us responsibility to manage our physical resources I come up with an idea that we are preparing for eternity.  In a sense we are cosmic preppers.  Somehow balancing our check books and living within our means will have a connection to eternal life.

So?  Manage your resources.  Make sure that the fruit of your labor goes into preserves and not the garbage bin.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Health Advice

(Proverbs 4:22 KJV)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

We have here a verse for the health and wealth gospel people.  We have a promise of “health” (4832).  How simple can it be.  It may be obvious but it isn’t simple.  Like most of the promises of the Bible there are conditions and expectations.  Here the expectation is that you will seek and find wisdom.  That requires focus, study and discipline.  It isn’t like the book of the month club where the latest is sent if you do nothing.

A book that I have reread is None of These Diseases by S.I. McMillen.  He goes into the results of following the kosher laws of the Old Testament.  It seems God had reasons for the outline He gave the Jews.  The revised edition even goes into things like HIV.

So?  Living a righteous life may bring persecution from the world but it also delivers better health and mental stability.

McMillen, S.I. and Stern, David E.  None of These Diseases.  Grand
    Rapids:  Fleming H. Revell, Third Edition, 2000. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019


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

I think everyone has a “cause” (2600).  It may be trivial.  It may be universal.  I guess maybe I should say everyone needs a motivating factor in their life.  Some people go out and do battle every day over the silliest things.  To me one of the silliest is the organic community.  I can see that there is a place to avoid things that are contaminated and go for cleaner food.  The real problem we face though is that if all food was grown the way the extreme organic people want then the world would soon starve to death.  If you are wealthy enough to live that way then more power to you.

There is a saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  The same thing goes for our causes.  What may be earthshaking for you may be a non-issue for me. 

So?  Make sure that your bully pulpit is founded on the Rock.  Jesus gives us enough big issues to worry about.  We should not get excited about the latest craze. 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Paradox of Balance

(Proverbs 2:8 KJV)  He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

It is important to make a note about whom the “He” is in this verse.  The NASB may be more artistic in its style but the KJV is more helpful by putting the word at the beginning of the passage.  He is God.  If you look back and read from verse 6 you can see that there are a number of things that God is going to be doing for His people.  If you read the further context it is clear that the recipients are not just those who are raised in a godly culture but those who follow the God of that culture.

So?  We keep running into reminders of the balanced paradox of life.  We are to put our shoulder to the wheel and work hard because it makes a difference.  While we do that we are to always keep in mind that God is in charge.  He is the source of salvation and the dispenser of judgement.  So relax and get to work. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Salvation Is Not Mush and Rainbows

(Proverbs 1:24 KJV)  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

This verse talks about a God who reaches out to man.  Even in the days of the Old Testament He was offering salvation to those who would listen.  It also brings up the issue of free will.  In the TULIP view of salvation the “I” stands for irresistible grace.  That means that if God “called” (7121) you did not have the option of “refused” (3985).  How can a mere human refuse God?

Simple.  By saying “No.”

That is where the vast majority of people are.  That is why hell will be so full.  That is why the road is narrow leading to salvation.  It isn’t that God can’t make it wider but that it won’t need to be.  People say, “No.”  Can God force the issue?  Yes, He is God.  He can reach down, turn your will to mush and your disposition to rainbows and have you saying, “Yes, Sir!”  There have been times in history when He has done that, but the pattern is to speak, to call, to offer and let us respond.

So?  I think of it as a daily response of obedience.  I trust in grace and the blood of Christ.  At the same time I know my decision is vital. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Second, Act

(Proverbs 28:18 KJV)  Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.

It makes a difference how we live our lives.  Again, I accept we are saved by grace and our debt is so vast that we cannot pay the price for our sin by any effort of our own.  At the same time there is a demand for us to live righteous lives.  Yes Abraham was righteous because of his faith but his faith was only noticed because of his actions.  If he had remained in Ur and talked about how much he believed in God I don’t think it would have been accounted to his as righteousness.

God demands our faith but He also demands our obedience.  Like the love and marriage of the old song, you “can’t have one without the other”.

So?  Trust in God.  Act like it.  It will make a difference.