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Process is as important as the Product – Proverbious – Day 272 – Proverbs 24:13-14

Posted on Oct 1, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 24:13-14

Eat honey, my child, for it is good,
and honey from the honeycomb is sweet to your taste.
Likewise, know that wisdom is sweet to your soul;
if you find it, you will have a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

I think we highly underestimate the goodness of Honey. I enjoy a good dollop on some cornbread, but other than that I don’t eat too much of it. I tend to eat other things like strawberry jam and cane sugar.

Before you think I’m about to jump on the GMO, natural food, whatever band wagon, I’m not. But, I do want to point out that if honey was important enough to be included in the book of proverbs as well as be a reference to heaven, then it probably wouldn’t hurt if we were more intentional about eating it. I’ve heard about how it can help you build up your immune system and help with allergies, etc. I’ve heard it can help calm your stomach and it just tastes good.

What we don’t realize though, is that wisdom is the same way. Wisdom is like honey. Especially in our day. Wisdom is a forgotten thing. We’d rather eat from the jar of strawberry jam or pour cane sugar. In other words, we go to the easier things. We go to the things we’re accustomed too instead of what we need.

We don’t do the hard work of learning wisdom, which comes only through intentionality and time. Instead, we just take whatever short cuts we need to get to the final destination we want.

What we don’t realize is that getting to whatever final destination we hope to get to is not as important as the path we take to get there. For instance, if you want to be a millionaire, but you cut every corner you can and break any law you can get away with, your final destination will not be as rewarding. If you want to be a successful business man, but you crush everyone in your path to get to the top, your final destination will not be a reward. It will be a punishment. If you take shortcuts to try to get through the hard times of raising a family, the dream of your family when you grow old will be much different.

I guess what I’m saying is, we need to stop short changing the process, because the process is just as important as the product. Search for wisdom. Take the time to try to live your life wisely. And when you do that, you’ll find much more joy in the process of getting to your destination.

Wisdom guarantees our future. Not strawberry jam.

Ignorance is not bliss, action is – Proverbious – Day 271 – Proverbs 24:11-12

Posted on Sep 29, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 24:11-12

Deliver those being taken away to death,
and hold back those slipping to the slaughter.
If you say, “But we did not know about this,”
does not the one who evaluates hearts consider?
Does not the one who guards your life know?
Will he not repay each person according to his deeds?

Remember that great scene from the Matrix when Cypher is about to pull a Judas and betray everyone he knows? He says:

“I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth the matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After 9 years, you know what I realize, ignorance is bliss.”

You know those people who use that phrase to get out of stuff? That drives me insane! You know what I’m talking about. Maybe not the exact phrase, but something close.

They’re the ones who know someone who close their eyes and plug their ears when they’re about to hear something that might require them to act or get involved when they really don’t want to. Especially when the reason they don’t want to get involved is just laziness. You’re about to share something with them that you could actually use their help on, and they do whatever they can to divert the topic to something else that won’t require anything of them.

They think that if they don’t know about it, then they won’t be held accountable for it. But, that’s not true. You knew something, but did nothing. That’s a bad thing too. “But I didn’t know!” You may cry out. While you may have done whatever you could to stay out of the situation, that doesn’t mean you didn’t know something. And the fact you just didn’t know the details, doesn’t mean you didn’t have a responsibility to act.

God doesn’t judge us based on our side of the story, or our defense. He judges us based on what He has decided is right. And that is where we need to try to live. Not in this pretend “I didn’t know” land.

Because in reality, that doesn’t exist. We know. We know when things are as they should be. We know when we should try to help. We know when we should try to get involved and save someone who may be about to suffer a great deal if we don’t act.  We like to have excuses not to get involved. It can be messy when we find ourselves in the midst of someone else’s problems. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to.

Ignorance is not bliss, action is.

 

Today = Opportunity or Obligation? – Proverbious – Day 270 – Proverbs 24:9-10

Posted on Sep 29, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 24:9-10

A foolish scheme is sin,
and the scorner is an abomination to people.
If you faint in the day of trouble,
your strength is small!

We all have those days. You know, the ones that seem to never end. The ones that you start and then when you lay down, you feel like you’ve been awake for a week. The kind that when you think back to when the day started, it seems like a lot more than a day that went by. I’ve had those days. You get up, work real hard for a long time and by the time you lay down, you’ve worked harder than you knew you could work.

On those days, something clicks inside us. Something that lets us know that this day is different than a normal day. Which means we’re going to have to work really, really hard. But, in the end, it will be worth it. In the end, we will have grown through our efforts. We will have expended a lot of energy, but we will have also grown.

We don’t have those days all the time, but when we do, we know that we need to step up.

But what if we don’t? What if we sit back and just let the day go by without taking full advantage of it?

I’m afraid that’s where many of us are. For some reason, we’ve stopped viewing the days as opportunities an instead view them as obligations. Because of this, we never grow, we never step up, we never move beyond who we are today.

The key to having strength when the day of trouble comes, is to push yourself today. The key to being able to take advantage of the opportunities when they come your way is to make sure you’re taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way today. Some of them might cause you to have to work a little harder. Some of them might push you beyond your comfort zone. But, if you allow yourself to be pushed and strengthened, then when the day of trouble comes, you’ll have what you need to get through.

What I see as one of the reasons so many people are in crisis is because they’ve stopped taking advantage of today. View today as an opportunity. View the challenges that come today as opportunities – not obligations. If you do that, then when the day of trouble comes, you’ll have all the strength you need to shine.

Just Can’t Dunk – Proverbious – Day 269 – Proverbs – 24:7-8

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 24:7-8

Wisdom is unattainable for a fool;
in court he does not open his mouth.
The one who plans to do evil
will be called a scheming person.

I’m just a little over 6 feet tall. Almost 6′ 1″, but just a little shy of  the 1″. When I had reached that height in high school, I also enjoyed playing basketball. Of course, when you play basketball in high school, the number 1 thing you want to be able to do is dunk. Sure, you want to be able to hit the three point shot, be good a free throws and be able to drive to the basket. But, the biggest thing you want to be able to do is dunk the ball.

For our small town, this was the holy grail of basketball. We didn’t have very many guys that were tall enough to dunk. So we were all trying to do whatever we could to be able to do that. We’d jump to see how close we could get. We’d do squats in the weight room. We’d measure our vertical jump.

And I got fairly close. I could jump high enough to get my second knuckle above the rim. But, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t jump high enough to dunk. Along with that, my hands just weren’t quite big enough to completely palm the ball like you need to be able to. The truth was, dunking the ball was just unattainable. It wasn’t going to happen.

Now I can tell you something else too. I wasn’t about to go stand in a group of guys who could dunk the ball, and brag about my ability to dunk the ball. Because, in short order, I’d have to prove my skills, and then they’d all know I was lying.

This is what this proverb is talking about. A fool is never going to be able to stand among the wise. This proverb is talking about the wise men who stand at the gate of a city and make decisions when people come to them. It’s not court like we think of court. The wise men of the city would stand at the gate, and then people would come to them with their problems and seek their advice. A fool would never go stand at the gate and solve problems for people.

Wisdom is just unattainable for the fool. He will never stand among the wise.

And some people just can’t dunk.

Spartacus and William Wallace – Proverbious – Day 268 – Proverbs 24:5-6

Posted on Sep 26, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 24:5-6

A wise warrior is strong,
and a man of knowledge makes his strength stronger;
for with guidance you wage your war,
and with numerous advisers there is victory.

When we think of great warriors, names like Spartacus & William Wallace. We think of those who were strong and brave. Who were willing to take on armies single-handedly, and could, by their own might, arise victorious. And certainly there is something to be said for becoming skilled in your craft, taking the time to learn how to wield your weapon and engage in combat.

However, those aren’t the truly great warriors. They might be, because I don’t actually know much about these men. But, I’m not talking of them specifically. I’m speaking of those who think that physical strength is enough to win battles. Those who think that being able to throw someone across the room makes you the manliest man in the room that day. And those aren’t the truly great warriors.

The truly great warriors are those who are strong, but who use knowledge to make their strength stronger. Yes, strength is good, but a proper knowledge and understanding of battle makes your strength stronger. A proper understanding of fighting techniques makes your strength that much more powerful.

And it doesn’t stop there. To your strength, add knowledge. But to your knowledge add guidance. Add guidance before you get into battle. Get help deciding if you should go to war, and the strategies you should use to win the war.

Because it’s a combination of those things that brings victory. With numerous advisers comes victory. So, combine your strength with your own knowledge and get guidance. Get guidance of others who have combined their strength with knowledge and guidance. And as you you get their input and advice, you will see things and be prepared for things you wouldn’t have know about otherwise.

Don’t be fooled. This isn’t just for battle and war. This is also for life. All of it. Get strong. Add knowledge. Add Guidance from many counselors.

Work on your strengths and make them as strong as you can at that moment in time. Not just physical strength, but your other strengths as well.

Add knowledge to your strength and make your strengths stronger. Add knowledge to your strengths, whatever they may be, so that you aren’t just working on the same skills over and over. But, through your increasing knowledge, you’re adding new skills that can become strengths.

And add to your knowledge the guidance of many counselors. Whatever your strengths may be, and whatever knowledge you’ve added to them, it can only be made stronger by adding the input of others who are stronger and smarter than you.

Strength. Knowledge. Guidance. Do those things and maybe someone will include your name in that list too.

Happy Homes Don’t Happen By Accident – Proverbious – Day 267 – Proverbs 24:3-4

Posted on Sep 25, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 24:3-4

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
by knowledge its rooms are filled
with all kinds of precious and pleasing treasures.

Happy homes don’t happen by accident. Those families that you see where all the kids grow up and love each other, come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and like each others’ posts on Facebook don’t just happen. They happen because there were parents who purposefully built the house.

A house is build on wisdom. It ought to make sense. If the foundation for the earth is wisdom, then shouldn’t it make sense that the foundation for your home should also be wisdom? We’ve covered that topic plenty, so there’s no need to go back through it – you can just go back and read those verses. The foundation of a happy home is wisdom. Sure, there are other things in there too like love and grace. But wisdom is the foundation.

And the walls are understanding. This doesn’t mean just the kind of understanding we think of. As in, “I’m an understanding person.” I’d imagine that could be a part of it. But, this is the same understanding we have spoken of all along. It’s the understanding that looks at the things of this life and figures out the principles that are running beneath them. This is intelligence and discernment.

In other words, it is by intentional thought that the house is built. It is using our intellect and discernment to evaluate where things are and where we want them to be, then coming up with a plan to take them there.

Finally, it is by knowledge that it’s rooms are filled. As in perception and skill. As in using those things that you know, and applying them to your family. As in increasing your knowledge. You need to learn things about raising a family. You need to take the time to think about why your kids are the way they are, and then seek knowledge, understanding and wisdom to come up with a plan to fix it. It is by seeking wisdom of others who know more than you. Being humble enough to ask for advice. Not thinking you know it all, but being willing to admit where you need help.

If we are intentional about the kinds of homes we are making, then we have a much greater chance of having a home filled with precious and pleasing treasures. Not of the kind that have monetary value, but the kind that have eternal value.

Happy homes don’t happen by accident.

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