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Posted on Oct 22, 2013 in Proverbious

Hard To Go Wrong – Proverbious – Day 292 – Proverbs 25:21-22

Hard To Go Wrong – Proverbious – Day 292 – Proverbs 25:21-22

Proverbs 25:21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
for you will heap coals of fire on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.

It seems that there are those who have a problem with this verse. It’s actually quoted other places in the Bible, so we ought to pay special attention to it. However, I want to do what I can to remove our hesitation at living out this verse.

The hesitation comes because it feels manipulative. It feels like we’re trying to use the doing of good things to bring about bad feelings. It feels like we’re trying to accomplish something bad in someone’s life.

But that’s not the case at all. Basically, here’s how I see it.

First, you do the good thing and it accomplishes what this proverb talks about – you heap coals of fire on his head. Most likely not literally, but still it works. You do something nice, and they feel guilty because you’re nice to them.

Second, you do the good thing and it doesn’t make the person feel guilty, instead they do something nice for you in return.

Either way, where is the harm in that? In the first scenario, you’ve done something nice for someone who doesn’t deserve it. And the Lord will reward you for that. In the second scenario, you did something nice, and got something nice in return. Again, where is the problem?

And that’s probably the point of this proverb. Doing something nice for your enemy is a better way of handling your enemy than continuing to treat them poorly. Whichever way it turns out, you’ve done something nice and the Lord is going to reward you for that.

It’s hard to go wrong.

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Posted on Oct 21, 2013 in Proverbious

Soft Kitty – Proverbious – Day 291 – Proverbs 25:20

Soft Kitty – Proverbious – Day 291 – Proverbs 25:20

Proverbs 25:20

Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on soda,
so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

It’s probably the most classic scene of the Big Bang Theory. Sheldon gets sick, and when Sheldon gets sick he reverts to a childlike state. He is unable to take care of himself and needs someone to step in and care for him like his mother did when he was a child. Of course, there are many, many ways that Sheldon his a child, but this one shines above them all.

Sheldon has convinced Penny to rub vaporub on his chest and now he would like her to sing him “Soft Kitty.”

For some reason, being sung songs when we are sick can help sooth our soul. It can make us feel a little less sick and bring us rest.

However, that’s not what the proverb is getting at here. Taking a coat from someone on a cold day would be cruel. Vinegar on soda causes it to bubble and steam. Singing a song to a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat on a cold day. It’s like pouring vinegar on soda. Singing a happy song to someone who is hurting ridiculous.

Yet so many people do that. You’re worried about something, so someone quotes “Don’t worry, be happy.” Or they quote Bible verses about not worrying about tomorrow. You’re sad about something and people send you Facebook forwards with rainbows and unicorns. And not only are they not helpful, but they cause you to foam at the mouth with anger towards the person.

When someone is sick, go ahead and sing them a lullaby. Soft Kitty if you’d like. But, when someone has a heavy heart, a song is not the answer. When someone is stressed out and overwhelmed with the worries of life, Soft Kitty won’t help. It’s like stealing their coat on a cold day.

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Posted on Oct 20, 2013 in Proverbious

Being Someone Else’s Cavity – Proverbious – Day 290 – Proverbs 25:18-19

Being Someone Else’s Cavity – Proverbious – Day 290 – Proverbs 25:18-19

Proverbs 25:18-19

Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow,
so is the one who testifies against his neighbor as a false witness.
Like a bad tooth or a foot out of joint,
so is confidence in an unfaithful person at the time of trouble.

Hoosiers has got to be one of best movies of all time. I remember watching it (or should I say trying to watch it) for the first time. I was while my family was visiting some family up in Michigan. That was when they introduced us to Hoosiers on VHS. That movie may be the reason dad decided we needed to get a VCR. For some reason, some of the movies I love the most as an adult are the ones I couldn’t stay awake through as a kid.

One of the stronger story-lines in the movie is about Shooter. Shooter is the dad of one of the players, Everett. He’s an alcoholic who hasn’t been clean in years. He’s literally the town drunk. Coach Dale notices that he’s got a very thorough knowledge of local basketball. That, paired with his desire to help one of his players was enough to get him to try to bring shooter on as a coach.

As you can imagine, Shooter doesn’t work out so well. He gets off to a good start, but then coach gets himself intentionally thrown out of a game. And that pushes shooter back over the edge as he arrived at the next game, drunk. The coach wanted to test shooter to see if he was going to stick to this new path, and Shooter came up short. Luckily for shooter, he was able to get into a rehab facility and get clean. But, he would have a lot of work to do to be trustworthy again.

When you’re in crunch time, you want to know that the people around you aren’t going to snap under the pressure. You want to know that they can bend and flex with the wind and the rain, but that they will bounce back. They can handle the stress without destroying themselves and potentially – you.

When you put confidence in someone who is continually untrustworthy, it’s like having a cavity. This is so true. When you have someone in your life that is a constant frustration, who seems to be constantly letting you down, it’s as bad has having a cavity – or needing a bond put back in its socket.

Not only should you choose your friends wisely so you don’t find yourself surrounded with people who are going to let you down at the most critical time, you should also make sure you’re being a trustworthy friend. You ought to make sure you’re not being someone else’s cavity.

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Posted on Oct 19, 2013 in Proverbious

A Warning We Probably Don’t Have To Worry About – Proverbious – Day 290 – Proverbs 25:17

A Warning We Probably Don’t Have To Worry About – Proverbious – Day 290 – Proverbs 25:17

Proverbs 25:17

Don’t set foot too frequently in your neighbor’s house,
lest he become weary of you and hate you.

We all think it would be awesome. You know you wanted to do it too. When you watched Friends, you thought how cool it would be to have great friends who live right across the hall and always came over to hang out. The kind where you didn’t have to knock, you could just walk in, plop down on the couch and just hang out.

The truth is, we all think we’d want it, but the reality is it wouldn’t take long for that to become a problem. You’d find yourself sharing parts of your life that you never wanted to share. You’d inevitably find yourself in situations where you couldn’t do something you really wanted to do because someone might walk in. And no, that’s not what I was talking about. I was talking about dancing to Taylor Swift.

This can be a temptation for us though. And it’s something we need to be cautious of. However, I don’t think we’re really every going to be in danger of what this proverb warns.

We live in a very different time. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that this proverb is talking about a daily, several time a day kind of a thing. We wouldn’t really do that. The chances of us going to our neighbor’s house two days in a row aren’t real high, let alone many times in one day.

Perhaps this proverb should serve as something we ought to aim for. Maybe we need to try to get close enough to someone that we get close to the point of them wanting us to leave because we come over too often. Maybe it’s such a foreign concept for us that what we really need isn’t motivation to stay away from people. What we really need is permission to try to get close enough that we might be in danger of having this happen. This was a warning for that time. Maybe it’s a goal for us.

Don’t worry, I won’t be stopping by unannounced any time soon.

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Posted on Oct 18, 2013 in Proverbious

Three Hot Dogs Is Too Much – Proverbious – Day 289 – Proverbs 25:16

Three Hot Dogs Is Too Much – Proverbious – Day 289 – Proverbs 25:16

Proverbs 25:16

When you find honey, eat only what is sufficient for you,
lest you become stuffed with it and vomit it up.

I don’t remember exactly how old I was. But, I remember the events of this evening very clearly. We had some company over. Which was always a big deal as a kid. I remember getting excited every time someone was coming over. I don’t know why, but I always loved it. I can’t really remember who was there, I just remember there were guests at our house.

I think mom might have made some kind of gross adult food like stir fry, so she made hot dogs for the kids. I had one. Then I had another. Then I had another. And on my way to my third, fourth or fifth hot dog my mom told me, “you’re going to make yourself sick.” That couldn’t possibly be true. How can eating too much food make you sick. But she let me eat it anyway, probably knowing I would get sick. I think she even made me stay in the bathroom or close to it.

And sure enough. She was right. I had too many hot dogs. And my body was not happy with me. So it forced me to do what I wasn’t able to do myself, keep too much of the hot dogs out of me.

Mom proved her point. And I remember her being very unsympathetic to me afterwards. “Mom, I just threw up, don’t you even care?!?” I’m sure she cared, but she had a point to make.

Many of us spend our lives pushing our bodies to take in more and more of the stuff we weren’t supposed to have that much of. And our bodies force us to deal with those things in ways that we don’t always enjoy. For some of us, it’s just being overweight. For others we get diseases and other forms of sickness.

The point isn’t about the sickness. That’s the repercussion. The point is, we need to know how to control the food before it gets into our body and creates problems. When you get the treats, eat only what is sufficient for you. A whole case of Little Debbies is not necessary when one will do. Half a pumpkin pie is not needed when a slice will do.

Notice, it doesn’t say not to eat honey. This isn’t a proverb telling us not to eat treats. It’s telling us to be balanced in our approach to them. To use moderation.

What this means untraining ourselves. For some, we’ve taught ourselves that 14 chocolate chip cookies is a portion. For others, we’ve bought into the lie that we aren’t ever supposed to indulge in sweets. Neither are accurate. Take only what is sufficient.

Three hot dogs is too much.

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Posted on Oct 17, 2013 in Proverbious

It’s Not A No, It’s A Not Right Now – Proverbious – Day 288 – Proverbs 25:15

It’s Not A No, It’s A Not Right Now – Proverbious – Day 288 – Proverbs 25:15

Proverbs 25:15

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a soft tongue can break a bone.

“It’s not a no, it’s a not now.” I know you’ve heard that from time to time in your life. You ask for a raise from your boss and it’s not a no, it’s just not a right now. You want to get that new house or new car and it’s not a no, it’s just not now. There are probably a thousand things you could think of in your life where you haven’t been told no, you’ve just been told not right now.

I tell my kids that all the time. I guess that could make a bad dad. Lazy at times. I say not right now because I don’t want to get up off the couch. But there are other times when it’s a good thing. For instance, when the kids want to use power tools, it’s not a no, but it is a not right now. They need to grow up a little bit before I’m going to let them pull the trigger on something that could cut off their ability to pull triggers.

Sometimes, not right now is exactly what we need. Even if we don’t know it yet. We want something really bad, but we’re not ready to have it in our lives. Or we want something for our business really bad, but truth be told, if we had it right now, it would ruin us because we’re not ready to handle it.

But with patience the not right now can be turned into an okay. Sometimes with those who are over you, they just need to see evidence that you’re able to handle what you’re asking for. Your leader, your parent, your boss, your spouse, whoever it is you’re asking for something, they just need to see that what you’re asking for is something you can actually deal with in a good way.

And it’s because they care about you and want to see you succeed. They don’t want to give you something that will crush you. They want to give you something that will help you grow.

At other times, the person your asking might need to work through something in order to be able to let go of what you’re asking them for. Perhaps you’re asking for a responsibility that the other has had for a long time and they’re not quite willing to give it up yet. It’s not a no, it’s a not right now. And the not right now has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.

The point of all this is, be patient. Patience is rewarded. You might not see the reward for some time, but patience brings rewards.

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