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Posted on Jun 30, 2013 in Proverbious

Your Momma – Proverbious – Day 181 – Proverbs 18:6-7

Your Momma – Proverbious – Day 181 – Proverbs 18:6-7

Proverbs 18:6-7

The lips of a fool enter into strife,
and his mouth invites a flogging.
The mouth of a fool is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare for his life.

Do you remember that scene from the movie “Remember The Titans” where the guys are in the locker room? And some of the guys start cracking “Your Momma” jokes. There is some back and forth there, while some of the guys don’t know how to respond to it. Then, Blue throughs one at Gerry, and he’s about to show Blue why everyone calls him Superman.

The situation calms down and everyone’s back to normal, for a minute anyway…(you can watch the movie to see what happens next). But, Blue was going to get a beating because he opened his mouth.

And this is true in real life as well. You know guys who just can’t keep their mouth shut. You probably know women who do the same thing. They get irritated about something, and they just can’t not say something. So they say it. And sooner or later they’re going to say it in the wrong context and get the beating that comes with that.

If you are a wise person you know that you need to control you lips from saying the wrong thing. Even when it’s totally justified, you shouldn’t always say what comes to your mind. If you have developed that habit, you might want to work on that one. Chances are, you’ll pay for it if you haven’t already.

Even if you don’t pay for it by a physical flogging, they will be a snare for you. Your words will be a trap for you to fall into. You may not realize it, but they words you are using and the way you are saying what you’re saying could be setting traps for you that cause you problems you don’t even know about.

So, be careful what you say. Just because it works out in the movie, doesn’t mean it’ll work out for you in real life.

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Posted on Jun 29, 2013 in Proverbious

Deep Waters & National Treasure – Proverbious – Day 180 – Proverbs 18:4-5

Deep Waters & National Treasure – Proverbious – Day 180 – Proverbs 18:4-5

Proverbs 18:4-5

The words of a person’s mouth are like deep waters,
and the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook.
It is terrible to show partiality to the wicked,
by depriving a righteous man of justice.

Verse 4

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a great swimmer. I can get the job done, but I’m horribly inefficient in the water (and on land for that matter). Because of that, I’ve never been much for wanting to actually swim. I like getting in the water to cool off. I like doing the backstroke a little bit. However, I’d much rather float around in an inner tube or something.

As a non-swimmer, I’m kind of cautious about how far I go out into deep waters. Because I know if I go out there too far, there’s a pretty good chance I’m not coming back.

This is the picture we get for a person’s words today. That a persons words are like the deep waters. It’s hard work swimming through there, it can be dangerous. You don’t know what’s in the water, they could be shark infested for all you know. If you find yourself in it, you may be gasping for air instead of being refreshed by the water. It can be overwhelming, and there’s more than you know what to do with.

But the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook. It is refreshing on a hot day as you can cool yourself off. And you can drink from it without drowning. There just enough water to get what you need. Not too much, not too little. Just right.

Verse 5

I hate favoritism. Absolutely hate it. I try as much as I can to be fair in all circumstances. I don’t want to be guilty of showing favoritism towards someone. But in the case of this proverb, it is even worse.

It’s kind of like the end of the Movie, National Treasure. Ben has stolen the Declaration of Independence, and after having discovered the treasure, he is ready to return the declaration and turn himself in. He’s having a discussion with agent Sandusky who says, “someone’s going to prison.” At that point Ben says, if you’ve got a helicopter I can help you with that.

If you watched the movie, you know that Ben stole the Declaration of Independence, and part of his reasoning was to protect it from Ian who was just a treasure hunter. Since they both broke in to steal it, they were both guilty. In this case, the right guy went to jail, because Ben gave the treasure back to the people of the world when Ian would have kept it for himself. But, if Ben had gone to jail and Ian went free, that wouldn’t have felt like a very just ending, would it?

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Posted on Jun 28, 2013 in Proverbious

The New Anchor Problem – Proverbious – Day 179 – Proverbs 18:2-3

The New Anchor Problem – Proverbious – Day 179 – Proverbs 18:2-3

 Proverbs 18:2-3

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding
but only in disclosing what is on his mind.
When a wicked person arrives, contempt shows up with him,
and with shame comes a reproach.

If you’ve spent any time at all watching the major news networks, you’ve inevitable seen them interview someone. And if you’ve seen them interview someone, then you’ve also probably seen this proverb in action. I like how the NIV puts it: “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” Oops, did I just call news anchors fools….

But, you’ve noticed it. I’m sure you have. You’re watching Matt Lauer interview someone, but for some reason, everything that Matt is saying is not a response to what the person being interviewed has just said. Instead, they are trying to come up with things that make themselves sound smart, or to try to promote their own personal agenda. And they’re going to do that with or without the person being interviewed.

It’s really funny when it doesn’t go their way. When they’re trying to make someone sound crazy, but instead, they end up sounding like an idiot.

The point is, they don’t really care about what someone else might have to say. They only care about speaking their mind and sharing their opinions. If you’re not willing to listen to others and learn from them, then do us all a favor – keep your opinions to yourself.

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Posted on Jun 27, 2013 in Proverbious

1 is too small a number – Proverbious – Day 178 – Proverbs 18:1

1 is too small a number – Proverbious – Day 178 – Proverbs 18:1

Proverbs 18:1

One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires;
he rejects all sound judgment.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m kind of an introvert. In some settings I have learned to be a people person, but a lot of it has been learned behavior. There have been a few times though, that being in groups of people felt natural to me. And they were all in church.

I remember in our church growing up, feeling that all these people were more like family than they were a crowd of people. That has also happened so some extent in other churches we have worked in over the years.

All that to say, I understand those who have a hard time opening up to a group of people, or even being around large groups of people. I get it. I’m right there with ya.

But, while I understand the anxiety that comes with that, I also know that there is much to be gained from being in community. There is much to be gained by not being all by yourself in this world. It is not just relationships and community, but also wisdom.

In fact, we see that the one who doesn’t join in community rejects all sound judgement. It is in not normal to be by yourself. It is not normal to struggle in isolation. It’s not the way we were designed or created. From the very beginning of human history, we were not alone. In fact, God made Eve because He saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone.

Even more than relationships, we find sound judgement in community. You’ve probably experienced this in your life, but may not have given the credit to community and relationships. For instance…

Have you ever had a problem you’ve been facing in life, but just couldn’t come up with a good solution? Sure you have. Everyone has. But then, you mention it to one person and they are able to see it from a totally different perspective to you, and they give you an idea that you wouldn’t have ever come up with on your own. Sound judgement doesn’t come in isolation. Sound judgement comes in relationships.

If you have been struggling with a situation, find some community and you’ll likely find the answer you’ve been looking for.

Let me just encourage you who are introverts. It doesn’t seem to be worth the risk to let people into your life, but let me assure you that it is. Even if it’s only for a season, these relationships add stuff to your life that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. And though they may move on, and you aren’t as connected as you once were, they added something that you didn’t have before.

So, go ahead. Give it another try. If you “still haven’t found what you’re looking for” it may be because you’re trying to find it in yourself, and that’s just not going to happen. 1 is too small a number to achieve greatness.

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Posted on Jun 26, 2013 in Proverbious

Word Problems – Proverbious – Day 177 – Proverbs 17:27-28

Word Problems – Proverbious – Day 177 – Proverbs 17:27-28

Proverbs 17:27-28

The truly wise person restrains his words,
and the one who stays calm is discerning.
Even a fool who remains silent is considered wise,
and the one who holds his tongue is deemed discerning.

I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t realize just how many proverbs there were that spoke about not speaking. I knew they were there, but there are so many of them. I’m also going to tell you that, this has become something that is high on my radar now. I am more aware than ever of the people in my life who have a habit of saying too much.

One thing I’ve observed is: when you talk too much, you say too much. At some point during the course of the profuse refuse protruding from your mouth, there is going to be some junk come out that you shouldn’t say. The more words that come out of your mouth, the higher the likelihood of you saying something dumb.

It’s pretty simple math, really. If you’re not good with words, then you should really limit how many words you say. If you have a tendency of saying stupid things, then you should restrain yourself from saying very much. If you have a tendency to brag when you talk, then you should talk less. The more words you say, the higher the probability you’re going to say something wrong or foolish or dumb.

It’s a literal word problem. Except, you don’t solve the problem with the words. You solve the problem by cutting out words. If you do, you’ll start to notice something…other people have good ideas…often times others have ideas that are beter than yours. If you can just shut your mouth, you might be able to learn something. You are not the only one who knows things about stuff. There are other people who know stuff. There are other people who know more stuff than the things you know. But, you don’t know that because you never shut your mouth.

Solve the word problem.

Even if you’re a fool, if you use fewer words, you will have the appearance of being wise. And, as you’ve heard, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.” When you talk too much, you say too much.

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Posted on Jun 25, 2013 in Proverbious

Wrongfully Imprisoned – Proverbious – Day 176 – Proverbs 17:26

Wrongfully Imprisoned – Proverbious – Day 176 – Proverbs 17:26

Proverbs 17:26

It is terrible to punish a righteous person,
and to flog honorable men is wrong.

I don’t have a way to know this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” came from this passage. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

Anyway, have you ever seen one of those movies or heard a story of someone who was wrongfully imprisoned? I have, in fact, I went looking for one when I came across this proverb. Take a listen to this guy’s story.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4126194n

Can you imagine what that would be like? Especially if you were Alton Logan? You spend all that time in prison, knowing that you didn’t do what you had been convicted of doing, and then one day you get out. Do you get that pit in your stomach? So, you’ve just spent 26 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit. So long that you stopped counting days or months and just counted the years. And all along, you were innocent.

Even worse than that would be finding out that there was someone on the outside who knew that you were innocent and could prove it. They actually knew who the guilty person was, and they knew that the person who was sitting in prison and paying the penalty for the crime had nothing to do with it. It would be bad enough to know you had wasted all that time, but then to know that all along someone knew and could have rescued you.

It’s awful. It’s awful to think of how many more might be sitting in the same position, but have no hope that they might be rescued. This is why this proverb is important. It truly is terrible to punish a righteous person. It’s terrible to flog honorable men.

 

 

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