Chapters 12-16: Ok I have to play catch up. I have been following through each day but haven’t been able to post about the chapters. You must forgive me. I pray you have been able to read each chapter on it’s corresponding day. Now that my travels are done for this month and the house is unpacked, I can get back into my groove. I have felt so guilty each day this week for not posting but have been praying each morning for our marriages and our study with God. I’m so grateful you are understanding, lol. I’m up late because I’m determined to catch up but I don’t want to rush what God is saying. I’m sure this is unorthodox when doing a series in Proverbs or a devotion style blog… but that pretty much describes me. I have always planned things the traditional way or the usual and safe way, but it rarely goes according to my plans, and that’s ok. We can make plans upon plans but we have to be open to what God is doing in our lives. I may have plans to write a post but see my family needs time with me after running around all day getting stuff done. So I’ll choose that family time over most anything else. We can be the most organized and planned person, but if we neglect God and people we miss the most important things about life.
Chapter 12. “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in those who tell the truth.” Again we hear about lying as we discussed in day 11. “The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble.” Doesn’t lying feel like that sometimes, like a trap? Consider how you feel when you think about, if someone catches you in a lie. For them to catch you, you must be trapped, right? I don’t want to be trapped. In Christ there is freedom and in wisdom we learn how to live out that freedom. Something else I want to remember from this chapter is verse 16, “A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.” I need this verse people. As much as I need Jesus, I probably need this verse. Staying calm always gives me the upper hand. Being quick in temper and anger always leads to me looking foolish. If I have a point of an argument, I lose my point when I lose my cool. Now, we know it’s impossible to always be even-keeled. But, most situations do not need to result in the actions we choose to take. I am so guilty of this quick temper thing. I am working on it because I have witnessed that my husband responds better with calm tender words than when I’m yelling or overly upset.
Chapter 13. Control what you say. “Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Ouch! Right? Seriously just tell me the truth, don’t hold back or anything. “…opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Thats real guys. The tongue is a very powerful muscle. Scripture tells us life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). How meaningful is that? It means we have so much power with our words and it’s important to choose them wisely. In marriage this is extremely important. You can build your husband up with your words (like Ephesians 4:29 tells us to do) or you can tear him down, along with your marriage. Consider everything you say. Who cares if I look ridiculous pausing before I speak. At least I took a moment before spewing anger or harsh words; that I will regret later. It can ruin everything if we don’t control our words.
Chapter 14. After we’ve been hurt or are experiencing trials, laughter can be a temporary solution but we need to dig deeper. “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.” Only God can heal our hearts. Through many measures He heals our hearts from the inside out. Laughter is necessary and helps lift our spirits but it is only the bandage, not the medicine. Jesus is the medicine for grief and getting through trials. Seeking Him will bring our focus to service for His purpose, instead of self-serving. He brings us to help others who may have it worse; which always brings perspective and sheds light on our situation. He sends us support through friends and family. So we don’t have to focus on ourselves because He is always thinking about us. So when we focus on His heart and the needs of others we are healed from deep pain because we become the support for someone else in need. Amen on that! Thank you Father.
Chapter 15. Scary thought. “Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord. How much more does He know about the human heart!” Verse 10 is a little chilling. I’m going to take a stab and guess that “Death and Destruction” is related to the devil or satan, because it is capitalized as a person’s name would be. But for the Lord to know everything that satan knows and his ways, how much more does the Lord know about us? Of course He knows all the desires of our heart, scripture tells us, and He knows our ways. That’s a scary thought because we are selfish, rude, and can be evil. But on the flip side, it is great He knows everything in our hearts and minds because He sees our true intentions which can be good. When I worked as a bank teller in high school, I remember thinking how glad I was that cameras were everywhere! Now why would I be concerned with cameras? Well I was dealing with more money than I knew existed at the age of 16, in my first real job. I didn’t want to mess anything up, I was nervous to be falsely accused of something, and I made a few mistakes by shorting my drawer and being over in my drawer which was bad. You would think if your teller drawer was over that it is ok by your superiors, but no it isn’t. If my drawer was over, meaning it had more money than accounted for, that means I shorted a customer. Thank God this only happened a handful of times; and I always had great employee reviews. But the cameras made me feel safe because I had a witness that I didn’t personally pocket or fraud the bank. Same with this scripture. I take comfort knowing God knows all about me and He still loves me!! Amazing, I know. Well He loves you too, with all your faults and flaws.
Chapter 16. “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” In all you do, go to God first. Get on your knees and pray. Get alone with God or be in the middle of the mess and send silent prayers to Him. My sister-in-law just told about how important prayer is and a situation she had. Well, she is a nurse and the schedule for nurses are not easily changed. As you can imagine their job and shifts are important. She was scheduled to work on her daughter’s birthday and it bummed her out and made my niece sad as well. But my niece is one of those cool girls who understands easily when you explain the situation, so she was content knowing her mommy would celebrate with her the next day instead. My sister-in-law prayed, even about something so small, even after her daughter was ok with the situation, and even though there are much bigger things to be praying about. She prayed and God answered. Another woman randomly wanted to switch days/shifts with my sister-in-law and she couldn’t believe the offer in front of her! She immediately praised God and was so glad to spend the actual day of the birthday with her daughter. How cool right? I was so touched by that when she told me. So the little things, the little actions, and the small steps… commit them to the Lord as well. Don’t just think the major items. Give everything to Him!