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Posted on Oct 28, 2013 in Proverbious

Unjust Stares & Glares – Proverbious – Day 298 – Proverbs 26:1-2

Unjust Stares & Glares – Proverbious – Day 298 – Proverbs 26:1-2

Proverbs 26:1

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a fluttering bird or like a flying swallow,
so a curse without cause does not come to rest.

I’m hoping that today’s proverb will be of great comfort to some of you. That’s because it resonates with some situations in my life that I know are situations that resonate with you as well.

Have you ever been accused of something that wasn’t true? Have you ever been treated poorly or even punished because of something you were accused of that wasn’t true? Have you ever gotten stares and glares from people who “know something” about you that isn’t actually the truth? I’m guessing you have. If you haven’t, you probably will.

For some reason, this has happened to me a number of times in my life. I don’t know if it’s just ┬ábecause I’m a quite and reserved guy, or if I’ve got some kind of lighting rod sticking out of my head that makes me especially susceptible to receiving people’s crap, but regardless, I’ve definitely gotten my fair share of this kind of junk.

And I hate it!

It’s unjust and unfair. People are making judgements about me based on faulty information from a 3rd, 4th or 5th party. Where is the balance in that?! That’s not right!

It’s not.

And the good thing is, it doesn’t last. Because sooner or later, people will realize the truth. They will see how situations play out and eventually come to realize that what they heard about you wasn’t true and that the person who told you whatever it was is the real problem, not you. And even if they don’t come and apologize (which some will) they will stop staring and glaring.

 

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Posted on Oct 27, 2013 in Proverbious

Don’t Be That Guy – Proverbious – Day 297 – Proverbs 25:28

Don’t Be That Guy – Proverbious – Day 297 – Proverbs 25:28

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city that is broken down and without a wall,
so is a person who cannot control his temper.

Unfortunately, I have lost my temper a time or two in my life. Most of the time, I’m able to control myself and keep things under control, but once in a while, I just lose it and go crazy. I’ve been told our family has a history of tempers, but I think that’s probably true for most families.

What I know is that losing your temper is not a good thing. It can be very destructive. It can bring ruin to relationships. It’s like a city that has been destroyed and it’s walls – destroyed. When you lose your temper, chances are you’ll also bring about a certain amount of destruction.

However, I do want to say something else too. While losing your temper is a bad thing, that doesn’t mean that anger is always a bad thing. In fact, I could easily argue that anger can be a very righteous and motivating factor. If you stay angry, then it’s not good, but if the anger motivates you to move and do something better, then it’s a good thing.

But, don’t be the guy that ruins all the relationships around you with your temper. Because just like living for your own glory will leave you isolated, so will being the guy who loses your temper all the time. You don’t want to be that guy.

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Posted on Oct 26, 2013 in Proverbious

Glory Divides – Proverbious – Day 296 – Proverbs 25:27

Glory Divides – Proverbious – Day 296 – Proverbs 25:27

Proverbs 25:27

It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable for people to seek their own glory.

We talked about eating too much honey not that long ago. And even though we had honey last night on the cornbread my wife made, I’m just going to let you go back and read that post instead of talking about it again.

But I do want to talk about the second part of today’s Proverb, because it’s an important one. Andy Stanley has said that “Your glory is too small a thing to live for.” Which I agree with wholeheartedly. However, I would like to add a little clarification. While I completely agree that we ought to be living our lives for the glory of God and Him alone, I want to make sure we understand the implications in personal relationships when we’re living for our own glory. So, instead of talking about how we need to be living for the glory of God (which we do!) I want to talk about how living for our own glory affects our relationships.

When you live for your own glory, or you’re seeking glory from the things you do, you become a very isolating person. And that’s because glory divides. Glory doesn’t unite us, it separates us. Think of how you feel when others around you get glorified and you don’t. Now, imagine that person is seeking their own glory and that’s one of the things defines them. You know what I’m talking about. If you’re not this kind of person, you know this kind of person. It’s where everything they do is done so they can get recognition for it. It’s where they have no qualms taking credit for other people’s ideas because whose idea it was doesn’t matter – as long as they get the glory.

Let me tell you – the person who seeks their own glory will never get it. This is the ironic thing about glory. To get it, you have to give it first. And as long as you’re trying to get it, no one’s going to give it to you. That’s because glory divides, and as long as you’re seeking to get glory from the people around you, they will never want to give it to you. Because they won’t want to be around you. Because they know you’re just in it for the glory.

But, as soon as you start living in such a way that you give glory to as many people as you can, you will start to find glory coming back in your direction. The amazing thing about starting to live this way, is that you will start to see how truly amazing each and every person is, and you’ll recognize that we all have reasons to receive glory. And when you start viewing everyone that way, well, everything changes. Instead of isolating and dividing, you’ll be living a live that welcomes and unites.

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Posted on Oct 25, 2013 in Proverbious

Set Apart – Proverbious – Day 295 – Proverbs 25:25-26

Set Apart – Proverbious – Day 295 – Proverbs 25:25-26

Proverbs 25:25-26

Like cold water to a weary person,
so is good news from a distant land.
Like a muddied spring and a polluted well,
so is a righteous person who gives way before the wicked.

Have you ever lost complete and total respect for someone in an instant? I have. Part of the problem is that we build people up too much in our minds to be perfect and righteous. But, you get to know and respect someone. You’ve spent some time building up your image of them in your mind. And then out of the blue they do something that causes you to raise your eyebrow. Maybe it’s a joke. Maybe a selfish decision. Regardless, you start to see that person differently. Then all of a sudden, you antennae go up and you start noticing other things.

Before long, you’ve completely written a person off in your mind. Their words no longer have any merit. Their advice has not weight.

This is how it is with a “righteous person who gives way before the wicked.” What that’s talking about is a righteous person who relinquishes their righteousness when they are in presence of a wicked person. They lower their standards for the irreligious around them. They stop being the person they’ve worked so hard to be and become more like the “wicked.”

And then they become like a muddied spring or a polluted well.

What we forget is that who we are in God is totally different from the world. We live in the world, and so it’s easy to think that we are more of the world than we are of God. But, when God calls us to follow Him, He calls us to a holy life. And what holy means is set apart. It means that we are set apart from the ways of this world. It means that we are set apart for God’s use.

What good is it to be set apart for something God has in mind if we are going to continually rejoin the ways of the wicked?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we shouldn’t spend time with the “unrighteous” (which I hate to even use that word). In fact, I greatly believe we should. What I’m saying is that when we are with them, we shouldn’t lay down what sets us apart.

And that’s a great temptation for many of us. We don’t want to sound weird. We want to fit in. We want to be a part of the crowd. But, we aren’t. We are going against the crowd. We’re going in a different direction. We are set apart for a different purpose. And being different in the midst of wickedness is what gives us a testimony in the first place.

Nobody’s going to listen to us because we look and talk exactly like everyone else in the world. People are going to listen to us and reach out to us because we are different than everything else they’ve seen. They’re going to be drawn to us because we’re unlike the others in the world.

Are you set apart?

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Posted on Oct 24, 2013 in Proverbious

Staying Off The Rooftop – Proverbious – Day 294 – Proverbs 25:24

Staying Off The Rooftop – Proverbious – Day 294 – Proverbs 25:24

Proverbs 25:24

It is better to live on a corner of the housetop
than in a house in company with a quarrelsome wife.

I’m a lucky man. I don’t want to rub it in your face, but I am. I have an amazing wife who is an amazing mother. I have 4 wonderful kids who make me smile every day. And, I just got to sit on my couch and watch a movie with my wife, snuggled up close to me. But, I realize this isn’t the case in some relationships and households.

Some couples never spend any time together. They don’t spend their evenings together. They don’t even sleep in the same room. That’s a real shame.

Though, sometimes it can be understood.

There are really two aspects to this proverb:

The first aspect is that of man. You go spend your afternoons, evenings and weekends in your garage, man cave or at the bar. It seems that every time you walk in the door the first words out of your wife’s mouth are filled with angst. And if it’s not angst, it’s anger at the kids. And if it’s not anger, it’s stress. Whatever the case may be, it’s not just unpleasant – it leads to fighting. So instead of fighting, you just avoid. You go hide in the garage and wait for calmer parts of the day to make your appearance.

But here’s the thing. It may be tough to walk in that door and stay engaged. It may be hard to pull yourself out of the garage. But you absolutely have to. Absolutely. You can’t just allow your life to waste away, your wife to waste away and your influence with your kids to waste away. Get back in the right and fight for your marriage and fight for your family. No one ever won the game from the bleachers.

The second aspect is that of the woman. You work hard all day long. You’ve been pulled and pushed all day long. You’ve had a thousand requests and fulfilled a thousand and one of them. You’ve cleaned all day long, folded enough laundry to circle the globe and been elbow deep in things that belong in the toilet. By the time your husband gets home, you’re done. Everything’s gone, sanity included.

But here’s the thing. Your husband may have had a stressful day too, followed by a stressful commute. And even though, you may be at your wits end, wouldn’t it be easier to handle the remaining hours of the day with some help? I’m guessing you’d answer yes. If you’d like hubby to help, do you think dumping on him when he gets home is going to inspire him to jump in? Don’t you think it would work better to woo your husband into the chaos with some sugar? If you really want help and you want your husband to stay in the house, then you need to realize that getting mad at him right after he gets home isn’t the way to do that.

This may not be a fun post for you to read. It wasn’t fun to write. But, no matter who you are, if you want to thrive in the same house together, you have to think about the other person in the house. If you want your spouse to be involved in what you care about, the way to get that isn’t through anger and manipulation – it’s through selflessness. And no I don’t just mean for the wife. That’s for everyone. We all have to be selfless and think about how to serve each other in love.

If we’re doing that, we’ll stay off the rooftop.

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Posted on Oct 23, 2013 in Proverbious

The Predictable Outcome – Proverbious – Day 293 – Proverbs 25:23

The Predictable Outcome – Proverbious – Day 293 – Proverbs 25:23

Proverbs 25:23

The north wind brings forth rain,
and a gossiping tongue brings forth an angry look.

Growing up in the midwest, there were somethings that were pretty predictable. At that time, John Cooper was the coach of the Buckeyes. And while he was the coach, they were generally good, but you could count on the fact that we were going to lose to Michigan and in other Big games.

But, you could also count on the weather. There were four seasons. It was going to be hot and humid during the summer. We’d have thunderstorms. It would probably snow. But, aside from all those things, you could almost always see the next storm system coming in. I remember hearing from the weatherman that there were storms coming in, or a cold front coming through and going out in front of the house and looking down the street to the west to see if he was right. Sometimes there would be bad weather that came from the south, and sometimes from the north. But the majority of the time, the weather would come from the west (northwest a little), and you could see it coming.

The same is true with gossip. The results of gossip are predictable. You can count on them, just like you can count on the weather. They are regular, they happen with consistency and they aren’t good.

Every time someone chooses to gossip, they are creating a weather system that will bring some sort of damage. It will bring damage to the person they’re gossiping about or the themselves. Someone’s going to get upset, someone’s going to get hurt.

It’s predictable.

And avoidable. You can avoid the damage and the pain and the bad looks. Just don’t gossip.

That’s predictable too. When you don’t gossip, you don’t get bad looks, you don’t hurt people’s feelings.

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