DAY 25 - 31 DAYS OF PROVERBS!
Read Proverbs 25
I read Proverbs 25 in the New Living Translation, Amplified Classic, and the Message.
My thoughts on Proverbs 25:
Don't have a high opinion of yourself or make yourself out to be more than you are to impress people. Don't praise yourself, leave that to someone else. Be who you are and let your actions, how you carry yourself, speak to who you are. "Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips." (Proverbs 27:2 AMPC) "So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time." (1 Peter 5:6 MSG) "For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself." (Galatians 6:3 AMPC)
Don't betray what others have told you even if you're angry or the friendship, relationship, ends. There is no expiration date on confidentiality! Additionally, don't use their words against them in the heat of the moment. It takes a lot to share your heart and they should not become weapons. A note of caution: know who you're sharing your heart with! Everyone is not for you or cheering you on. "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely." (Proverbs 20:19 AMPC) "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy and faithful in spirit keeps the matter hidden." (Proverbs 11:13 AMPC)
Timely advice is priceless. Seek godly wisdom and counsel in your decision-making process. "A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment—how good it is!" (Proverbs 15:23 AMPC)
Listen to valid criticism. The key being valid criticism. Not all criticism is valid. I ask Holy Spirit to show me the truth in what is being said. A note of caution: Everyone can't speak into your life. Know their motives. While it may be constructive criticism it might not apply to you. Let Holy Spirit lead you.
Be a trustworthy and reliable friend. Speak the truth in love. Don't make promises or commitments lightly. Count the cost so that your word is your bond. "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift." (Ephesians 4:29 MSG) "So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding (edification and development) of one another." (Romans 14:19 AMPC)
Because our words matter, let this be your prayer: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14 AMPC)
Don't assassinate someone's character by telling lies about them. Our words can be a creative force and a destructive one depending on how we use them. "Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose." (Proverbs 18:21 MSG)
Don't put your trust, your confidence, in unreliable people. Let Holy Spirit guide you. “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with darkness? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives.” (II Corinthians 6:14-16 MSG) "Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character." (1 Corinthians 15:33 AMPC)
As believers, disciples of Jesus, we cannot agree with, or give in to sin. The world may redefine what's acceptable, but we know the truth. We cannot compromise. We must speak the truth in love. "You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God." (James 4:4 AMPC) "You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way." (James 4:4 MSG)
Lack of self-control leaves us defenseless. You must rule your spirit. Rule - maʻtsâr, control: —control: —control:—rule restraint (Strong's 4623) Spirit - rûwach, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions):—air, anger, blast, breath, cool, courage, mind, quarter, side, spirit(-ual), tempest, vain, (whirl-) wind(-y) (Strong's H7307)
The verses that spoke to me:
"If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For in doing so, you will [a]heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you." (Proverbs 25:21-22 AMPC)
"If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and God will look after you." (Proverbs 25:21-22 MSG)
How I treat my enemies matters to God because people matter to Him. As His disciple I'm called to walk in love. I must treat my enemies as I want to be treated. As His disciple my response should be to love and to serve regardless of how I am treated. As a bonus Proverbs 25:22 says that "the Lord will reward you," "God will look after me.
"To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more payback. Live generously." (Luke 6:27-30 MSG)
Yes, I have to pray for them. Regardless of how I'm treated by them I'm required to love them and pray for them.
God's Word goes a step further:
"Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you]." (Luke 6:28 AMPC)
While it's easier to love those that love you there's no reward for that. God wants us to do the difficult things because people matter to Him. Who knows, our love, prayers, words and actions may be what God uses to change lives.
"If you [merely] love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the [very] sinners love their lovers (those who love them). And if you are kind and good and do favors to and benefit those who are kind and good and do favors to and benefit you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the preeminently sinful do the same." (Matthew 6:32-33 AMPC)
Jesus paid it all!
I am learning to remember, Jesus died for them too. "Them" are those I don't always like, who have hurt me, used me, abused me, etc. Jesus loves them too. I may have done something that caused the treatment I've received, and I might not have. What I do know is Jesus didn't do anything to deserve the treatment He received. He chose to die in my place so I could have eternal life. Given this fact I can choose to follow His Word and love my enemies. Bless those that curse me. Do good for those that hate me. Pray for those that spitefully use me and persecute me.
Abba, Father, help me to love my enemies and pray for them. Let me reflect Your love in all my interactions, especially the challenging ones. Let me speak life-giving words and words that bless and encourage. I am reminded that I'm not responsible for how I'm treated but I am responsible for how I treat others. Today, I will lead with love so they will know I am Your disciple. Thank You Lord, that Your love never fails and because Holy Spirit lives in me and guides me, my love won't fail either.
Even in this Lord, let Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven, through me.
Share in the comments what verse spoke to you and why. Let's grow in wisdom together.
Be Encouraged! ❤