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Posted on Sep 21, 2013 in Proverbious

Wise Doesn’t Happen By Accident – Proverbious – Day 263 – Proverbs 23:24

Wise Doesn’t Happen By Accident – Proverbious – Day 263 – Proverbs 23:24

Proverbs 23:24

The father of a righteous person will rejoice greatly;
whoever fathers a wise child will have joy in him.

I have a dream. (I know, that’s not real creative. I wonder how many posts have been written with that starting line. Anyway…) I have a dream that when my kids are all grown up, they will be much wiser than I was at their age. When they’re 18, I’m hoping they’ll be as wise as 25 year olds. When they’re 25, I’m hoping they’ll be as wise as other 35 year olds. That would make me proud.

And if that happens, I will rejoice greatly. I will have great joy in my kids. I’m sure I will anyway, no matter the outcome. But I have high hopes for them.

But, the thing is, that doesn’t happen by accident. This isn’t a proverb of hopes and dreams. It’s not a prayer, that we memorize in the hope that our kids will turn out this way.

The word in the second verse brings great clarity. Whoever ‘fathers’ a wise child. With focus on the word, ‘fathers.’ As in the who does the responsibility of being a father. And yes I meant to use the word does. The one who fathers, the one who does this fathering, the one who fathers a wise child will have joy in him.

This is not something we hope for. This is a decision we make and then work toward. We decide on the vision and do the hard work of fathering towards it. We decide that we want our kids to be wise when they grow up, and then we do the work of fathering them in that direction.

Wise children (as in offspring, not age) don’t happen by accident. They happen on purpose. They happen because you’ve decided as a parent that you want your child to be wise. They happen because you’ve decided and started doing the work of raising them that way.

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Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in Proverbious

Facebook, TV, Coffee and Money – Proverbious – Day 262 – Proverbs 23:22-23

Facebook, TV, Coffee and Money – Proverbious – Day 262 – Proverbs 23:22-23

Proverbs 23:22-23

Listen to your father who begot you,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Acquire truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.

We pursue a lot of things in life. We pursue wealth and comfort. Family and friends. And some of those are good things. And those are things we intentionally pursue. There are things we pursue unintentionally as well. Such as Facebook, TV, coffee, laziness and the Walking Dead. We get on Facebook and talk about things like coffee and The Walking Dead and then wonder why we live such unfulfilled lives.

What if we pursued truth, wisdom, discipline and understanding with the same intensity that we pursue these other things? What if we were as intentional about acquiring truth as we were about informing all of our friends about how our coffee tastes this morning.? What if we were as intentional about acquiring wisdom as we were about staying up to date with The Walking Dead? What if we tried to be as disciplined in all of our lives as we are disciplined in our TV time? What if we pursued understanding as much as we pursued money?

I think if we did, our lives would look much different. For some reason we have been deceived into thinking that pursuing all these things are the things that will bring us the most rewards with our friends and current social status. For some reason, we’ve bought into a lie that things like Facebook and TV will pay dividends in other areas of our lives. But, in case you didn’t know this, they won’t.

Don’t be confused, there can be good things that come from Facebook and TV, Coffee and money. It’s good to stay in contact with your friends and family. There are some lessons that we are able to learn from watching TV. Coffee tastes good and money is a good thing to have around. But, if those are the things we spend our time pursuing, we’ll come to a point in life when everything seems to fall apart.

That’s because Facebook, TV, Coffee and Money don’t have the ability to hold your life together. They were never intended to. And still, so many of us try to find our meaning in these things. No wonder there are so many who feel unfulfilled.

If you want to have a truly fulfilling life, start with truth. Start with wisdom. Start with discipline. Start with understanding. You do the other things too, but make sure you are pursuing things of real worth. Make those the foundation that your life is built on.

Otherwise, your life will fall apart every time Facebook changes it’s layout. And we all know how that goes.

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Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in Proverbious

Beware the Locusts – Proverbious – Day 261 – Proverbs 23:20-21

Beware the Locusts – Proverbious – Day 261 – Proverbs 23:20-21

Proverbs 23:20-21

Do not spend time among drunkards,
among those who eat too much meat,
because drunkards and gluttons become impoverished,
and drowsiness clothes them with rags.

You become like those you spend time with. If you didn’t know that, consider yourself in the know! It’s just the nature of who we are. When we spend a lot of time around the same people, you start to pick up some of their personality. You pick up some of their habits. You pick up some of the phrases that they use.

It’s like how old couples start to look alike. They wear the same kinds of clothes. Their body styles often start to look like the other. Their language sounds the same. Their mannerisms are the same. That’s because you become like those you spend time with.

This is why you need to be careful who you choose to invest your time with. When you don’t think through the kind of people you allow to influence you, you’ll end up becoming a completely different person and never knowing why. You don’t want that to happen. You want  to live intentionally. You want to live with a purpose and vision for your life.

When you have a purpose and vision for your life, it guides everything. Including the friends you spend time with. You may notice that there are friends who bring you down. There may be some who don’t bring you down or lift you up, but they just waste your time. There may be others who bring you up and raise you to a higher level.

The first category of friends is pretty easy to cut out. Most of us are able to see which people bring us down and then stop seeing them. That’s pretty natural for us.

Not quite as easy, but still not too difficult is finding the friends who raise you up. They’re easy to find, but usually hard to get time with. They’re hard to get time with because everyone else has realized that they are lifters.

However, today’s proverb is warning against that middle group of people. These are the subtle friends who steal our time without us knowing about. These are the ones who don’t work hard. They don’t like to work hard, so they are predisposed to look for every opportunity to get out of work. Often times, getting out of work also means stopping others from doing work. They might not be bad people to hang out with. They are fun, they like to have a good time. After all, it’s fun to eat food with friends. But we must be very wary of those friends like this who weasel their way into our lives.

These are the ones who will become impoverished. They will eat all their food, your food, the governments food, and then go looking for more. They weasel their way into your life, siphon off what they can, and then move on. They’re like locusts. But instead of using force and volume, they use flattery and friendship. Just because they’re being your friend now, doesn’t mean you want them as a friend. And since you become like those you spend time with, you too may find yourself washing over the plains.

Be careful of the locusts. If I know my history, when locusts appear, it doesn’t usually end well.

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Posted on Sep 18, 2013 in Proverbious

Guide Your Heart – Proverbious – Day 260 – Proverbs 23:19

Guide Your Heart – Proverbious – Day 260 – Proverbs 23:19

Proverbs 23:19

Listen, my child, and be wise,
and guide your heart on the right way.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this theme that runs through the whole book of Proverbs. It has to do with speaking and not speaking. The one who speaks too much, they’re a fool. But the one who listens, the one who doesn’t just say whatever comes to his head, he is wise. It’s almost as if, in this one little sentence, we get a clue into the way to be wise. Listening. Listen, and you will be wise. You’ll at least have a better chance of it. If you don’t, you’ll prove for certain that you aren’t wise.

I’ve had so many interactions and relationships that have proven this to be true. The person who says too much, will eventually say too much.

The next phrase is also interesting. Guide your heart. How often do you think of guiding your heart? We’re very familiar with the phrase, “guard your heart.” But, have you ever thought about guiding your heart?

If you haven’t tried to guide your heart, there’s a good chance you’re in a world of hurt right now. When you don’t guide your heart, but you instead let your heart guide you, things don’t go well for you.

Human beings are complex individuals. We have a body, a mind and a heart. And I’m not convinced yet that the heart and spirit are the same thing. Our body does some things on its own, like digesting food and beating our heart. Our mind does some of those things for us, but we also have the ability to control parts of our mind to do other things. And then there is our heart. Our heart adds the flavor to everything. Our heart is what gives us our passion. Our heart is what gives us love. Our heart is the one thing that can easily derail our mind and our body.

If we don’t guide our heart, our heart will mislead us. Our heart will take us to places we never wanted to go.

Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

So, guide your heart. Don’t let your heart control you. Instead, be in control of your heart. Lead your heart on the right way. And you will be wise.

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Posted on Sep 17, 2013 in Proverbious

The Dangers of the Comparison Game – Proverbious – Day 259 – Proverbs 23:17-18

The Dangers of the Comparison Game – Proverbious – Day 259 – Proverbs 23:17-18

Proverbs 23:17-18

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but rather be zealous in fearing the Lord all the time.
For surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

I’m a do it once kind of a guy. I don’t like to go back and do things twice, so I do my best to make sure I’m doing them right the first time. I figure, it’s better to spend a little more time doing it the first time than it is to have to come back and do the whole thing over again. Some of this is born out of laziness, and I know that’s not a good thing. But, I don’t like to do things twice that should only be done once.

It’s easy to play the comparison game. Easy, but dangerous. Especially when we are envying people who have gotten ahead by cheating the system, by cutting corners and bending or breaking the rules. That’s a dangerous situation to get into. Easy, but dangerous.

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And no, I’m sure it wasn’t. Doing things the right way takes time. There are things that have been done right that were done quickly, but for the most part, things done quickly don’t last. When people rush things, corners get cut and the rules get bent. And the end result is never as pleasing as it could have been. Because we had to get there quickly.

The real future, the kind of future that is worth getting to, is the one that you get to by going the right way. And the right way is by doing what is right, by taking your time and making sure the work you’re doing is worth being done. Otherwise, why bother with doing it at all.

When we play the comparison game, and compare our lives to the lives of those around us, it can drive us to want to start taking shortcuts to get ahead or at least catch up. But that is not who our hearts should envy.

Our hearts should envy God, and more of Him in our lives. For surely, in this – fearing the Lord – is where our future lies. Fearing the Lord is the right kind of future to build. Fearing the Lord is doing things right the first time. And when you do things right the first time, you’ll have a great future to look forward to. It’s not necessarily the easy way in the beginning, but it pays off in the end.

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Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in Proverbious

Parenting Is Vision, Not Avoidance – Proverbious – Day 258 – Proverbs 23:15-16

Parenting Is Vision, Not Avoidance – Proverbious – Day 258 – Proverbs 23:15-16

Proverbs 23:15-16

My child, if your heart is wise,
then my heart also will be glad;
my soul will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

This verse resonates deep within my soul right now as a father. I do a lot of thinking about the kind of adults we are raising. I’m sure this is the case for many parents. If it’s not something you worry about it, you probably should start thinking about it. If you don’t come up with a plan, the chances of your kid growing into a great adult that makes tangible contributions to society aren’t very good. Good adults don’t happen by chance. Good adults happen because of good parenting.

But it can be something that causes a great deal of worry within the heart of a father or mother. “What kind of adult is my child going to grow up to be?”

As a parent, you see all the good and all the bad within your kid. You can see their strengths. But, you can also see their weaknesses. You know the areas they will succeed in, but you also know the areas that will be a struggle with them. And once you start to see some of their weaknesses, it’s really easy to let your mind play those out to their worst possible conclusion.

But, that doesn’t do much good. Worry is a motivator, but it’s not the best motivator. The best motivator is vision. Worry motivates out of fear. Vision motivates out of hope. When we are planning our children’s future, it should not be born out of worrying about the kind of person they are going to be. It should be born out of the kind of person we hope they will be.

When our parenting decisions are based around trying to keep our kids from becoming something bad, we’re just teaching them about things to avoid. We’re just teaching them about things not to do. We’re basically telling them all the places not to look.

When our parenting decisions are based around trying to move our kids toward a vision for their lives, we’re teaching them about the things they should move toward. We’re teaching about the things to do. We’re telling them where to look.

Telling you’re kids where to look is much better than trying to tell them all the places they shouldn’t look. There are countless things they shouldn’t do, and shouldn’t look at. So they will never be focused. They will never be determined. But, when we tell them where they should look, they can be focused. They can be determined. They can be driven.

So, what should the vision for our kids’ lives be? If nothing else, we should hope they will be wise. For them to be wise, we intentionally have to lead them toward being wise. It won’t happen by chance. Trust me, I’ve known so many old people who are not wise. Wisdom isn’t a given, it’s a pursuit.

As for me, when I grow old and gray, I hope I’m sitting around wondering how my kids got to be so wise.


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