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Insight or Strife? – Proverbious – Day 197 – Proverbs 19:13-14

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 19:13-14

A foolish child is the ruin of his father,
and a contentious wife is like a constant dripping.
A house and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Growing up, we always seemed to have a faucet in our kitchen sink that dripped. I don’t know if there was just too much pressure in the house or what, but it always dripped. Even after it had been replaced, in not too long, it would start dripping again. And, being the good kids that we were, we would use bowls and just leave them in the sink. Right under the faucet. In a short while, the bowl would be filled up with water.

With the shape of the sink, the dripping would reverberate throughout the house. You could hear the dripping in the living room. You could hear it in the family room. You could hear it in the bed rooms. You could hear it pretty much everywhere in the house. Sometimes it was loud enough to keep me awake.

So, I learned exactly where to put the faucet. I learned to put the faucet over the divider, just on the corner as it goes back down into the sink. If you put it right in the middle of the divider, it would make a little puddle and splash. But, if you put it just on the corner, the drop of water would be dispersed without making much of a sound at all.

You must be thinking, “why is he talking so much about dripping water?” And I would tell you, that’s a good question. However, I could also tell you that you must not have a dripping faucet in your house. Because if you’d ever had one, you’d know the same thing – Dripping can drive you absolutely insane.

So is the contentious wife to her husband. It is a constant frustration. It keeps you awake. It keeps you from enjoying your house.

However, there is another option. The other option is the wife who has insight. This is the wife who is wise and understanding. She is cautious and careful. She knows how to plan and prepare. She knows how to take care of the family. She knows how to make the household prosper. She is a gift from God.

Insight or strife. One is a gift from God, the other is a nuisance that seems insignificant but drives you crazy. So, the question is, are you going to bring insight or strife?

Cheap Knockoff Wisdom – Proverbious – Day 196 – Proverbs 19:10-12

Posted on Jul 15, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 19:10-12

Luxury is not appropriate for a fool;
how much less for a servant to rule over princes!
A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
A king’s wrath is like the roar of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.

Remember the good ole days when things were made with American Steel? I don’t really. I’ve heard a lot about them from Old Timers who talk about them. But that’s not the America I grew up in. I grew up in the America where cheap was what drove the economy. So, the goal of manufacturers was to make the products as cheaply as possible so they could make as much money as possible.

People are going to offend you. That’s a part of living in a fallen world. People are out for themselves, and because of that, there will be a time with their path intersects yours in a negative way. They are on a journey that is different from yours. They are out to get something different from what you’re out to get. And because of that, they may very well steam roll over you as they’re building the road to their dreams.

We can get upset by it. It’s frustrating. Even painful. We feel justified in defending ourselves and seeking to avenge the wrong that has been done to us. And perhaps, by worldly standards we are justified. But those standards are built on faulty presuppositions.

Worldly standards are built on the knowledge, judgement and wisdom of a world in the absence of God. They’re not always wrong. But they’re not always right. They’re like the made in China version of some product. The original version was a well designed and well built product. It would last for a long time and not need much repair. But then someone decides they want to make a cheaper version of it. So they outsource it to China and use plastic parts in place of metal. They do everything they can to bring the cost of the product down so they can make a few more pennies off us. And while you get a version of the product, it’s not as good as the original.

We, instead, need to use standards that are built on the wisdom of the God who created the earth on the foundation of wisdom. While the world would tell us that we are justified in seeking revenge for the wrongs done to us, the wisdom of God tells us that we will be lifted up when we overlook an offense.

This goes against what the world will say, but we’re not just trying to among the herd of those roaming the hillside of the knowledge of this world. No, we are preparing for an existence that is far greater than the daily struggle of this life. We are preparing for an eternity that cannot even be comprehended by our limited thinking.

So, go ahead and live by the worlds standards if you want. Just know that you’re buying the plastic knock off that will be ruined and worthless in a short time. If you want something that will last you need to buy the real deal.

Two Kinds of Liars – Proverbious – Day 195 – Proverbs 19: 8-9

Posted on Jul 14, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 19:8-9

The one who acquires wisdom loves himself;
the one who preserves understanding will prosper.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and the one who spouts out lies will perish.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been the recipient of a slanderous lie, but it’s not fun. I have, a couple of times. I’m not sure why that has happened, but it hasn’t been the best of times.

And it’s happened on a copule of different levels. There have been some of the ridiculous ones that come out of people’s frustration with my leadership. And those are the ones I somewhat understand. Somewhat. Of course, I think all of us should not lie about others and we certainly shouldn’t pass on lies. But these lies are what I would call laws of false deduction. These folks have observed something about the way I led and they made a false deduction about what I belief or want to do based on their assumptions.

That’s not a good thing to do. When you don’t know the truth, it’s best not to try to deduce it.

However, I have been the recipient of other lies as well. Not lies of deduction, but lies of imagination/creation. These are lies that are just flat out made up stories that have no foundation. These are the ones that kind of make you laugh, and yet, they’re extremely frustrating. Especially when they come back to you from others who have heard a variation of the story.

That’s an even worse thing to do. There is absolutely no reason you should create a lie about someone. If you’re insecure and need to do things to belittle others so that you feel better about yourself, then you should join a circus or an improv group or something where you can make fun of people when they’re expecting it. If you’re so insecure that you have to make up stuff about others, you probably need to do some serious, in-depth soul searching to discover what is at the root of your weakness. You may even need some counseling. Whatever you do, stop messing with other people’s lives because you’re insecure about your own.

Anyway, the good news is: if you’ve been the victim of some lies then it should offer some help to know that a false witness will not go unpunished. And one who spouts out lies will perish. You will be vindicated.

If you’re one who likes to make up lies, perhaps now would be a good time to start pursuing wisdom and find a way to love yourself. Pursue the things that matter, like wisdom and understanding. That’s where you’ll find the security you’ve been looking for. You won’t find security in belittling those around you. You’ll find security in growing in wisdom and understanding.

Like A Moth To A Dollar Sign – Proverbious – Day 194 – Proverbs 19:6-7

Posted on Jul 13, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 19:6-7

Many people entreat the favor of a generous person,
and everyone is the friend of the person who gives gifts.
All the relatives of a poor person hate him;
how much more do his friends avoid him—
he pursues them with words, but they do not respond.

I’ve never been a fan of favoritism. In fact, I’m more inclined to be on the other side of showing favoritism to someone. Especially someone who has money. But there are those who just can’t keep themselves from drooling all over the feet of those who have what they so desperately want.

And it drives me insane! Just because they’ve been able to accumulate wealth doesn’t mean the know anything about anything else. But we don’t see their foolishness in the rest of their lives, all wee see is the dollar signs behind their name. I could even argue that the chances are pretty good that those who have wealth are also likely to be very foolish in other areas of their lives because they’ve spent all their time and energy pursuing money instead of wisdom.

While I was travelling with the choir at Indiana Wesleyan, there was one facet of these tours that just disgusted me. I understand the need to expand and grow as an organization. And organizations that have good leadership will have a need to expand. However, what happened on these tours was there was a group of men who would talk to the wealthy people at every church we went to. Their sole purpose for being on the trip was to raise money for the school.

I know this is pretty standard for universities and other non-profits. However, just because it’s common place doesn’t mean it’s right. I don’t think it’s a problem to ask those that have money to give toward something. However, I think it works best within the confines of relationships and trust. Or, I can see how God could lead someone to give out of their abundance to their church or ministry they are involved in – something in which they’re invested in ways besides money. And I think we should challenge everyone equally to be generous. But, I don’t think we’re supposed to single out the rich people and try to wine and dine them into giving money to our cause, out of the blue. That’s just me though. And I’m not rich. And I could be wrong.

It kind of makes you question humanity. The way we are willing to beg for gifts and money. The way we will abandon those we love because they have made a decision that led to them losing everything. What kind of people must we be if money is the determining factor in relationships and not the people.

Don’t be like a moth attracted to light. Don’t let money lure you in while you ignore everything else. As often happens with moths, you could be pulled into your death.

 

Cold Calling Donald Trump – Proverbious – Day 193 – Proverbs 19:4-5

Posted on Jul 12, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 19:4-5

Wealth adds many friends,
but a poor person is separated from his friend.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and the one who spouts out lies will not escape punishment.

If you don’t know, I recently became a pastor. I’ve been in pastoral roles for the last 10 years, doing mostly worship, but now I’m a senior pastor of a church. It’s been quite an amazing experience stepping into this role for the first time. Of course it has it’s challenges, but it also has many rewards. However, there are some parts of it that I’m not so fond of…

One of those things is the requests I get. I’ve always gotten requests to come and play at my church, which I’ve never liked, but have tried to accommodate as much as possible (as long as they weren’t awful!). However, one thing that has happened a few times now in a less than 6 month period is being asked for money or the opportunity to raise money in the church.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad people. I totally understand what they are trying to accomplish. And, they’re good causes. They’re missions organizations or community help of some kind. It’s not that I don’t want to help them, it’s just that they come out of the blue. They’re either people I’ve never met or people I haven’t spoken to in years. And while I would love to give them all the money they need, we just don’t have unlimited funds as a church. And so I’m put in this position.

But, because everyone thinks most churches support missions and other organizations, when someone feels like they have a “friend” that can connect them to that money, they try to use that “friend” to help them in their cause. Would these people have contacted me if I wasn’t in a position to help them out? Unlikely. For some, it’s a certainty they wouldn’t have ever contacted me.

So, it’s not even wealth that adds many friends, even the perception of wealth can add many friends. I realize that people don’t think I’m rich, but they do think churches have money to help them out. And while I don’t have time to get on the soap box where I trash non-profits for preying on other non-profits and their platforms to do the money raising for them, people think there is a lot of money that non-profits have access to. And that perception brings people who want to try to tap into that.

Here’s a tip, don’t be that person. Or, if you are, at least invest a little time in the relationship with the person first. You wouldn’t cold call Donald Trump and ask him for money would you?

Supplication – Proverbious – Day 191 – Proverbs 18:23-24

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 in Proverbious

Proverbs 18:23-24

A poor person makes supplications,
but a rich man answers harshly.
A person who has friends may be harmed by them,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Have you ever needed something that you couldn’t get on your own? Not just in terms of money or things, but perhaps a favor or help with something. Maybe you needed someone’s forgiveness and you couldn’t do anything else to get it. Or perhaps you had done everything you can to find a job, but you were out of options.

When you get into those kinds of situations, how do you approach the person who has what you need? My guess is, you don’t approach them with pride and arrogance. My guess is you, you approach them with humility. Then as you are humble and make your request, you have a better shot at getting what you were looking for.

In supplication is present the idea of humility. When you make a supplication, you aren’t just asking for something, you are humble while you ask. If you are in a position where the only way out is the help of someone from the outside, do you think you should be proud or humble when you approach them? Hopefully you answered humble.

Can you imagine being wealthy and having someone come to you to ask for money, but they did so in a proud or arrogant way? I have a feeling that would turn you off. If they asked as though they deserved your money, you’d probably not be to apt to help them out. But if they approached you as though you are their savior and there is nothing they can to be thankful enough for your help, you’d probably be more inclined to give whatever you could.

Within answering harshly is the idea of pride. If you have the ability to help, you shouldn’t answer harshly. Acknowledge the humility in the supplication of the person in need and be gracious in your response.

However, there is one more application we should make with this. Since the word supplication is used in the context of prayer, we should examine how we make our supplications to God. In fact, if we are not humble in our requests, I would argue that we are not making supplications. Instead, we are going to God with a list of demands.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to demand something from God. Just saying.

Take some time to examine how you talk to God when you pray. Do you approach him with pride and arrogance? Or are you humble. Yes we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence, but confidence is not the same thing as arrogance. Arrogance is entitled thinking, thinking you deserve and own the right to do whatever it is. We should not approach God with arrogance. Confident yes, but humble in supplication.

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